Fire drills: guidance

Understand best practice around running fire drills, and see examples of fire drill and evacuation information from a school and a local authority.

Last reviewed on 26 January 2023
School types: AllSchool phases: AllRef: 3877
  1. How to plan and carry out fire drills
  2. Brief your team on basic fire safety 
  3. See example policies from schools

How to plan and carry out fire drills

It's up to you to decide how often to hold drills

However, you should aim to carry them out at least every 6 months or once a term. You should have a fire risk assessment that explains how often drills will happen. Read more about writing a fire risk assessment in this article.

Hold fire drills as soon as possible after the start of each school year for new staff and pupils. This is recommended by the NEU.

Drills should simulate a full evacuation onto a playground or playing field

Your school's health and safety policies should outline your drill procedures and how you should evacuate school buildings.

You can contact your local authority (LA) or fire brigade for information about how often you should test your fire alarm. Most schools test their alarms once a week.

Jeremy Bird, one of our associate education experts, gave us the advice in this section.

The Key has taken great care in publishing this article. However, some of the article's content and information may come from or link to third party sources whose quality, relevance, accuracy, completeness, currency and reliability we do not guarantee. Accordingly, we will not be held liable for any use of or reliance placed on this article's content or the links or downloads it provides. This article may contain information sourced from public sector bodies and licensed under the Open Government Licence v3.0.