We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.

Advertiser Disclosure

Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.

How We Make Money

We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently from our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

What Is a Fire Drill?

By C.B. Fox
Updated May 17, 2024
Our promise to you
WiseGeek is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At WiseGeek, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

A fire drill is the practice evacuation of a building. These evacuations can be conducted by a family, business, or government organization and may be announced beforehand or conducted as a surprise. During the drill, evacuees calmly exit the building and reconvene in a designated safe area. It is common to determine how long it takes to evacuate everyone from the building so that those in charge can see whether the drill indicates that the building could have been safely evacuated in the event of a real fire. Many countries require mandatory fire drills in schools and other government buildings.

An alarm is often used to indicate the start of a fire drill. Those participating in the drill are asked to treat it as they would a real emergency by remaining calm and quickly leaving the building in the planned manner. Belongings are left behind and the doors are closed to help keep the fire contained.

There is usually a designated route for each room that people must use in order to reach the safe area. Using different designated routes helps streamline the evacuation to help ensure that everyone reaches safety as quickly as possible. People are told to walk to the evacuation site in order to prevent panic and confusion, which can lead to injuries or deaths in an actual emergency.

Once everyone has been accounted for at the safe area, the fire drill administrators will collect information, such as how long it took to conduct the drill and whether procedures were followed correctly. Sometimes, the fire department will be present during a fire drill so that the drill can be analyzed by professionals. Schools and other institutions often have minimum requirements they must meet in order to have successfully completed the fire drill. If the organization did not execute the drill correctly, it may need to be repeated.

In certain institutions, such as schools and nursing homes, laws prescribe the way in which a fire drill is conducted. These laws determine how often the drills must be held and whether everyone must participate. Certain people, such as bedridden patients in a nursing home, may be exempt. Laws do not govern fire drills conducted in private companies and homes.

WiseGeek is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.

Discussion Comments

By Sporkasia — On Feb 26, 2014

Drentel - I do remember the school fire drill procedures and the thrill at getting out of class for a few minutes. However, I feel the exact opposite about the office fire drill. Having to put down what I am working on and walk outside for a fire drill is not fun.

I understand the need for practicing what we will do in the event of a fire, but I still find it annoying, especially when I am running behind and trying to meet a deadline.

By Drentel — On Feb 25, 2014

Is there any kid who didn't like the school fire drills? Remember the fire drill procedures? The alarms would go off in the middle of class and we would leave our desks, form a line at the door and then march out into the hall toward our destination, which was the parking lot or one of the activity fields.

By Animandel — On Feb 24, 2014

My father staged fire drills for our family when I was a kid. I was about nine years old when they started and the last one I remember was when I was a senior in high school.

I do the same thing for my kids today. I think the fire drill training gives them more confidence that they will know what to do if we do have a fire at the house. Carrying out the home fire drill definitely makes me feel better about my family's safety.

WiseGeek, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

WiseGeek, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.