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Fire Drills and Bus Evacuations

The Pennsylvania School Code requires that fire drills be conducted in every public school at least once a month while school is in session. Public schools include schools in school districts; charter schools; cyber charter schools, when they utilize a physical facility; career and technology centers; and intermediate units. Fire drills must include the actual removal of teachers and students from the building to a place of safety on the ground outside. Schools not required by law to maintain fire escapes, fire extinguishers, and fire exits are exempt from the requirement to conduct fire drills, but are strongly encouraged to do so. See 24 P.S. §§ 15-1517, 15-1518, 17-1732-A, 17-1749-A.

The Pennsylvania School Code requires that all schools, including school districts, charter schools, career and technology centers, and intermediate units, that use or contract school buses for transportation of students shall conduct two emergency school bus evacuation drills during each school year. The first drill must be conducted during the first week of the school term and the second during the month of March. Each bus evacuation drill must include the instruction on the location and use of emergency exit doors and fire extinguishers and the proper evacuation of the bus. See 24 P.S. §§ 15-1517, 17-1732-A.