West Virginia Fire Prevention: What you need to know

West Virginia has no specific law or regulation requiring employers to conduct fire drills, although the state fire code expects that building managers use standard safe practices as embodied in widely recognized standards of good practice for fire prevention and fire protection.

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Local fire codes may contain additional requirements.

The federal Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSH Act), which governs West Virginia's 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.

Hancock, Brook, and Ohio counties and part of Marshall County are within the 50-mile radiological emergency planning zone for the Beaver Valley Power Station in Shippingport, Pennsylvania. The panhandle of West Virginia is within the evacuation area should a catastrophe occur in the greater Washington, DC area. The state is also prone to earthquakes and floods, which could require evacuations.

The ReadyWV website has emergency planning information on evacuations and other resources at http://www.ready.wv.gov/Resources/Pages/ EvacuationInformation.aspx.

The West Virginia Department of Transportation has marked emergency evacuation routes with round signs designating the direction of traffic.

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