Pennsylvania - Multi-hazard Practice Drills: Program Requirements

Area: 
Program Requirement
Policy Type: 
Statute
Summary: 

State law requires districts to implement multi-hazard practice drills (e.g., fire, lockdown, active shooter, or evacuation drills) andencourages or requires inter-agency coordination.

Pennsylvania Unconsolidated Statutes 1949 Act 14. Section 1517. Fire and Emergency Evacuation Drills.

(a) Except as provided under subsection (a.1), in all school buildings of school entities where fire-escapes, appliances for the extinguishment of fires, or proper and sufficient exits in case of fire or panic, either or all, are required by law to be maintained, fire drills shall be periodically conducted, not less than one a month, by the teacher or teachers in charge, under rules and regulations to be promulgated by the chief school administrator under whose supervision such school entities are. In such fire drills the pupils and teachers shall be instructed in, and made thoroughly familiar with, the use of the fire-escapes, appliances and exits. The drill shall include the actual use thereof, and the complete removal of the pupils and teachers, in an expeditious and orderly manner, by means of fire-escapes and exits, from the building to a place of safety on the ground outside.
(a.1) Within ninety (90) days of the commencement of the school year after the effective date of this subsection and within ninety (90) days of the commencement of each school year thereafter, each school entity shall conduct one school security drill per school year in each school building in place of a fire drill required under subsection (a). After ninety (90) days from the commencement of each school year, each school entity may conduct two school security drills per school year in each school building in place of two fire drills required under subsection (a). All of the following shall apply:

  • (1) The school security drill shall be conducted while the school entity is in session and students are present under policies adopted by the chief school administrator.
  • (2) The chief school administrator or a designee shall oversee the instruction and training of students and school employees in the procedures to be used in the school security drill.
  • (3) The chief school administrator shall notify and request assistance from the local law enforcement agency and emergency management agency before conducting the school security drill.
  • (4) The chief school administrator shall provide notice of the school security drill in advance to parents and legal guardians of the students attending the school building for which the school security drill is scheduled.
    (b) Chief school administrators are hereby required to see that the provisions of this section are faithfully carried out in the school entities over which they have charge.
    (c) Any person who violates or fails to comply with the provisions of this section shall be guilty of a misdemeanor, and on conviction shall be sentenced to pay a fine of not less than twenty-five dollars ($25) nor more than five hundred dollars ($500), or to undergo imprisonment in the county jail for not less than (10) days or more than sixty (60) days, or both.
    (d) All school entities using or contracting for school buses for the transportation of school children shall conduct on school grounds two emergency evacuation drills on buses during each school year, the first to be conducted during the first week of the first school term and the second during the month of March, and at such other times as the chief school administrator may require. Each such drill shall include the practice and instruction concerning the location, use and operation of emergency exit doors and fire extinguishers and the proper evacuation of buses in the event of fires or accidents. Bus operators shall be provided with proper training and instructions to enable them to carry out the provisions of this subsection and may be required to attend classes and drills in connection therewith.
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