Arkansas has no specific law or regulation requiring employers to conduct fire drills. However, the federal Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSH Act), which governs the Arkansas occupational safety and health system, requires that companies with 10 or more employees have written fire prevention and emergency exit plans for each workplace. Employers with fewer than 10 employees may communicate the plans orally. To ensure that the exit plan will work in an actual emergency, it is advisable to rehearse regularly with annual or semiannual drills.
The federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) requires most employers to provide emergency exit routes, an emergency action plan, a fire prevention plan, and to implement procedures to protect employees from fires. Although fire and evacuation drills are not specifically required by regulation, employers should also have written procedures for executing fire evacuation drills. Employees who supervise evacuations must be trained to perform the task.
There is additional information and a more detailed discussion of federal OSH Act emergency and fire plan requirements.
The Fire Marshal's Office of the State Police is charged with regulating the installation, maintenance, and regulation of fire escapes as well as the maintenance and adequacy of exits in case of fire from factories, hospitals, churches, theaters, and all other places in which numbers of people work, live, or congregate. The Office is also responsible for oversight on installation and maintenance of fire extinguishers in these public places. For more information, call the Regulatory and Building Operations Division at 501-618-8604, or go to http://asp.arkansas.gov