Virginia Fire Drills: What you need to know

The state's Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSH Act) has adopted the federal OSH Act standards, which require companies with 10 or more employees to have written fire prevention and emergency exit plans in place for each worksite. Employers with fewer than 10 employees may communicate their plans orally.
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See the national Fire Drills/Evacuation Drills section for a more detailed discussion of federal OSH Act emergency and fire plan requirements.
The Virginia Statewide Fire Prevention Code (SFPC) is under the jurisdiction of the state Division of Building and Fire Regulation and is enforced by the state fire marshal. Chapter 4 - Emergency Planning and Preparedness - of the SFPC prescribes employer responsibilities regarding fire safety and evacuation procedures.
Evacuation. Under the SFPC, a fire code official may order the evacuation of a building because of structural damage or the presence of explosive or toxic fumes or vapors. Anyone refusing to evacuate or interfering with an evacuation is in violation of the SFPC.
As part of the Ready Virginia initiative, the Virginia Department of Emergency Management (VDEM) conducts an annual statewide tornado drill in March. It asks organizations to coordinate preparation for the drills. Instructions are available at http://www.vaemergency.gov.
Local governing bodies may pass and enforce regulations or procedures stricter than the SFPC. Therefore, check local fire codes, which may contain additional requirements.
Counties and municipalities may also conduct their own severe weather drills and tests of alarm systems.
Facilities. Owners of property are ...

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