Michigan Fire Prevention: What you need to know

Michigan has no specific law or regulation requiring private employers to conduct fire drills. However, Michigan's own state health and safety code has adopted the safety standards of the federal Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSH Act). The OSH Act 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.

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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.

A more detailed discussion of the federal OSH Act emergency plan requirements is available.

Local fire codes may contain additional requirements.

The Michigan Fire Prevention Act (MI Comp. Laws. Sec. 29.19) recommends that a minimum of six fire drills/evacuation drills be held each year in public buildings. The Act requires that schools and colleges hold eight drills per year.

In public buildings where the majority of occupants are visitors, regular employees should be trained in evacuation procedures, which can be practiced during drills, so that they may direct other occupants out of the facilities.

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