South Dakota Fire Prevention: What you need to know

South Dakota has no specific law or regulation requiring employers to conduct fire drills. Local fire safety codes, however, may contain drill requirements.

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However, the federal Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSH Act) standards, which govern work safety in the private sector, require that companies with 10 or more employees have written fire prevention and emergency exit plans for each workplace. To ensure that the exit plan can be executed successfully in an actual emergency, it is advisable to rehearse regularly with annual or semiannual drills. Employers with fewer than 10 employees may communicate the plans orally.

The South Dakota Department of Health's Licensure and Certification Bureau requires healthcare facilities it licenses to have monthly fire drills and annual tornado drills (in April or May) and maintain written records. The fire drill record form is available online at http://doh.sd.gov/Licensure/Forms/MonthlyMaintenance.pdf.

The South Dakota Department of Social Services requires daycare facilities to conduct required fire and tornado drills and to postevacuation routes.

The South Dakota Department of Agriculture requires facilities manufacturing or using pesticides to conduct facility evacuation drills.

The South Dakota Department of Public Safety's Office of Emergency Management (OEM) has a "BReady" campaign to help prepare for emergencies such as tornadoes, floods, wildfires, storms, earthquakes, and other natural disasters. Go to http://www.bready.com/breadyanything.cfm. OEM also conducts a statewide severe weather drill each year in April.

The South Dakota University Cooperative Extension Service has information for workplaces at http://sdces.sdstate.edu/prepare

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