Q: I’ve been conducting two fire drills per month while we are under construction. I am new to the safety role and my understanding of the code is that I should be doing 2 per quarter each on different shifts. My facilities guy says 2 per month. Who is correct? I think we are giving our employees alarm fatigue.
A: Fire drills must be conducted as follows for healthcare occupancies (i.e. hospitals) and ambulatory health care occupancies (i.e. ASC):
- Regular fire drills must be conducted once per shift per quarter, with start times staggered by 2-hours on fire drills conducted on the same shift but on consecutive quarters;
- ILSM fire drills must be conducted once per shift per quarter in areas affected by the impairment requiring the ILSM fire drill. This drill is in addition to the regular fire drill.
The ILSM fire drill must evaluate each departments response that is affected by the impairment that requires the ILSM fire drill. This may mean you will have more than one ILSM fire drill per shift per quarter.
It appears you are on the right track with 2 fire drills per shift per quarter while the construction is underway. I’m not sure where the facility guy is coming from with the 2 drills per month requirement.