Congregational Workings


Evacuation Practice and Drill Policy

  1. Overview
    1.  The Evacuation Plan for First Parish is in the Policies and Procedures Handbook and on the First Parish web site.
    2. Evacuation drills, sometimes called fire drills, are necessary to successfully implement the Evacuation Plan in an emergency. We recognize that evacuation drills cause disruption.
    3. Evacuation practices help prepare for evacuation drills without some of the disruption caused by a drill, with a more limited scope, and on a more flexible schedule.
    4. Although it is a goal to minimize disruption to scheduled activities, safety is the primary concern.
  1. Evacuation Practices
    1. Definition - An evacuation practice does not involve the alarm system or the fire department and may be announced ahead of time. Practices may involve one or multiple church groups and sections of the church community. Practices may be scheduled as often as deemed necessary by the groups involved.
    2. Evacuation practices should be cleared in advance with the leaders of all the groups involved.
    3. Practices may be scheduled and implemented without notifying the Safety or Parish Committees. If requested, the Safety Committee will offer advice and assistance as availability permits.
    4. All church groups and sections of the church community are encouraged to practice the Evacuation Plan as set forth in the Policies and Procedures Handbook and on the First Parish web site. Each group is responsible for its own evacuation practice.
    5. The Safety Committee encourages at least one practice a year for each church group.
  1. Evacuation Drills
    1. Definition – An evacuation drill involves notifying the fire department and activating the alarm system. Evacuation drills are not announced in advance.
    2. Drills will be conducted by the Safety Committee with prior approval by the Parish Committee Chair. The committee and the chair will select one among a list of dates approved by the Minister, the Music Director, the Director of Religious Education, the Office Manager, and the Youth Program Coordinator.
    3. Drills should be conducted every two years on a Sunday and on another day of the week on the alternate years.
      1. It is recommended that successive Sunday drills cycle through these various times:
        1. during a worship service and Religious Education classes
        2. after worship service during coffee hour
        3. during Sunday evening activities
      2. It is recommended that the non-Sunday drills cycle through evenings of high occupancy.
  1. Evacuation Guidelines
    1. The rally point, the place to meet and reorganize, is in front of Arlington Town Hall, 730 Massachusetts Ave, to the west of the First Parish campus.
    2. When the building alarm sounds, we evacuate.
    3. Please evacuate quickly and quietly. Please help those who are mobility impaired or those with young children. Please meet your family and friends at the rally point. Children in Religious Education classes (RE) will be taken to the rally point.
    4. If there is an issue with your assigned evacuation exit, please proceed to the next nearest exit to evacuate.
  1. Renters and Tenants
    1. First Parish recommends that each of its renters and tenants develop and practice an evacuation plan. Renters and Tenants may use the First Parish Evacuation Plan.
    2. If requested, the First Parish Safety Committee will offer advice and assistance as availability permits.
    3. First Parish renters and tenants are expected to evacuate when the alarm sounds.

Approved by the Parish Committee February 10, 2015


Copyright 2017 First Parish Unitarian Universalist of Arlington

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