Code Requirements for Emergency Evacuation Drills

The following is based on the 2009 edition of the International Fire Code (IFC), which is adopted by the State of Colorado.

  • Section 405.1 states that emergency evacuation drills complying with the provisions of this section are to be conducted in the occupancies listed in Section 404.2 or when required by the fire code official. Additionally, drills are to be designed in cooperation with the local authorities e.g. the Boulder Fire Department (BFD), the Fire- and Life-Safety Group (FLS), CU Police Department (CUPD) and the Fire Systems Group (FSG). (See Attachment C for Section 404)
  • Section 405.2 states that the required emergency evacuation drills are to be held at the intervals specified in Table 405.2 or more frequently where necessary to familiarize all occupants with the drill procedure.

    Table 405.2: Fire and Evacuation Drill Frequency and Participation

    Group or Occupancy Frequency Participation
    Participation Quarterly Employees
    Group E – Day Care and K-12th Grade Monthly All occupants
    Group I – Institutional Quarterly for each shift Employees
    Group R-1 – Transient Residential Quarterly for each shift Employees
    Group R-4 – Non-Transient Residential Quarterly for each shift Employees


  • Section 405.3 states that the responsibility for the planning and conduct of drills is to be assigned to competent persons designated to exercise leadership.
  • Section 405.4 states that drills are to be held at unexpected times and under varying conditions to simulate unusual conditions that occur in case of fire.
  • Section 405.5 states that records are to be maintained of required emergency evacuation drills and include the following information:
  1. Identity of the person conducting the drill.
  2. Date and time of the drill.
  3. Notification method used.
  4. Staff members on duty and participating.
  5. Number of occupants evacuated.
  6. Special conditions simulated.
  7. Problems encountered.
  8. Weather conditions when occupants were evacuated.
  9. Time required to accomplish complete evacuation.
  • Section 405.6 states that where required by the fire code official, prior notification of emergency evacuation drills is to be given to the fire code official.
  • Section 405.7 states that where a fire alarm system is provided, emergency evacuation drills are to be initiated by activating the fire alarm system.
  • Section 405.8 states that as building occupants arrive at the assembly point, efforts are to be made to determine if all occupants have been successfully evacuated or have been accounted for.
  • Section 405.9 states that an electrically or mechanically operated signal used to recall occupants after an evacuation is to be separate and distinct from the signal used to initiate the evacuation. The recall signal initiation means are to be manually operated and under the control of the person in charge of the premises or the official in charge of the incident. No one is to reenter the premises until authorized to do so by the official in charge.
  • Section 406.1 states that employees in the occupancies listed in Section 404.2 are to be trained in the fire emergency procedures described in their fire evacuation and fire safety plans. Training is to be based on these plans as described in Section 404.3. (See Attachment C for Section 404)
  • Section 406.2 states that employees are to receive training in the contents of fire safety and evacuation plans and their duties as part of new employee orientation and at least annually thereafter. Records are to be kept and made available to the fire code official upon request.
  • Section 406.3 states that employees are to be trained in fire prevention, evacuation and fire safety in accordance with section 406.3.1 through 406.3.3.
  • Section 406.3.1 states that employees are to be apprised of the fire hazards of the materials and processes to which they are exposed. Each employee is to be instructed in the proper procedures for preventing fires in the conduct of their assigned duties.
  • Section 406.3.2 states that employees are to be familiarized with the fire alarm and evacuation signals, their assigned duties in the event of an alarm or emergency, evacuation routes, areas of refuge, exterior assembly areas, and procedures for evacuation.
  • Section 406.3.3 states that employees assigned fire-fighting duties are to be trained to know the locations and proper use of portable fire extinguishers or other manual fire-fighting equipment required for its safe and proper use.