District of Columbia Fire Prevention laws & safety compliance analysis

District of Columbia Fire Prevention: What you need to know

The federal Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSH Act), which governs the District of Columbia'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.

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The federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) requires most employers to provide emergency exit routes, an emergency action plan (EAP), a fire prevention plan (FPP), and 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. Please see the national Fire Drills/Evacuation Drills section.

The District of Columbia (DC) has no specific law or regulation requiring employers, other than educational institutions and correctional facilities, to conduct fire drills.

The DC Labor Code for Industrial Safety does require employers to furnish a safe place of employment by adopting practices and processes for making the workplace safe. It also requires that every employer keep an accurate record of every person employed so that employees can be accounted for in case of an emergency (DC Code Sec. 32-808).

The District also regulates the sale, lease, rental, installation, service, repair, and use of fire and security alarm systems by licensing dealers and agents (DC Code Sec. ...

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