Moratorium on CFD Fire Drills Lifted
September 22, 2020
The Chicago Fire Department has lifted the moratorium on fire drills. Fire drills may now be conducted following CDPH, IDPH and CDC guidelines relative to social distancing, masks and other requirements. Given the current occupancy rates/numbers in highrises, building operators should be able to effectively run drills while still maintaining appropriate COVID-19 precautions for participants. COVID-19 resources and guidelines from the agencies mentioned above can be found here.
Now that the City of Chicago lifted the moratorium on fire drills, this means that you must now adhere to the fire codes required of your building (as you did pre-pandemic). Drills are again required for Category 1 and 2 buildings as part of the City's fire and life safety code. Category 3 and 4 are not required to host a drill, but the CFD does recommend to do so. Full information regarding categories and drills can be found here: https://www.chicago.gov./city/en/depts/cfd/provdrs/prevent/svcs/emergency_preparednessstudyguide.html
Fire drills must be held in-person for Category 1 and 2 buildings by end of year. Safety and life safety presentations/seminars can be done virtually or online. Please note that drills and safety presentations are not the same. Category 1 and 2 buildings cannot host a virtual presentation in lieu of an in-person fire drill.
Now that the moratorium is lifted, we recommend that you schedule a drill with the CFD by the end of 2020. You can schedule a drill by contacting the Fire Prevention Bureau. You can also contact Wally Schroeder, CFD Chief, at 312-747-1699 or via email at email@example.com. Chief Schroeder understands that you may have questions and concerns – you can reach out to him at any time.
Chief Schroeder will work with you to host a drill that best suits your building and current occupancy. Under the COVID precautions, the CFD is not requiring drills to involve putting people into the stairwells. But, the CFD will need to evacuate the office and travel to the stairwell where they can then be dismissed back to their office