Office of the Fire Marshal

CONTACT INFORMATION: Office Hours: 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m., Monday-Friday, Lobby Hours: 7:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m., Monday-Friday
703-246-4800 TTY 711
12099 Government Center Parkway
Fairfax, VA 22035
William D. Vannoy
Deputy Fire Chief, Fire Official - 703-246-3977

Lockdown Plans


This page outlines the minimum requirements for lockdown plans developed and utilized in facilities and occupancies located within Fairfax County and the towns of Clifton, Herndon, and Vienna.

LOCKDOWN. The Fire Prevention Code defines "lockdown" as an emergency situation, in other than a Group I-3 occupancy (i.e., Detention Center, Jail, Pre-release Center, Prison), requiring that the occupants be sheltered and secured in place within a building when normal evacuation would put occupants at risk.

SUPPLEMENT TO FIRE SAFETY & EVACUATION PLAN. Lockdown plans are intended to supplement approved fire safety and evacuation plans, and are not intended to serve as a stand-alone plan to protect occupants in lieu of building evacuation where appropriate. Detailed information on fire safety and evacuation planning requirements is available online.



Pursuant to Section 404.3.3.1 of the Fire Prevention Code, lockdown plans shall be approved by the Fire Marshal’s Office. To accomplish this approval, lockdown plans shall be submitted to the Fire Marshal’s Office for review upon request.



The lockdown plan shall contain the following information and/or procedures:

  • Notification of Lockdown
    • Methods and procedures of notifying building occupants of a lockdown. The method of notification shall be separate and distinct from the fire alarm signal. (404.3.3.3)
  • Initiation of Lockdown
    • Instructions for reporting an emergency that requires a lockdown. (404.3.3.1 #1)
  • Communication During Lockdown
    • Means for two-way communication between a central location and each secured area. (404.3.3.1 #4)
  • Accountability During Lockdown
    • Procedures for staff to report the presence or absence of occupants. (404.3.3.1 #2)
  • Recall From Lockdown
    • Method or notification or pre-arranged signal for returning to normal activity. (404.3.3.1 #3)
  • Lockdown Training Frequency
    • Specify the frequency for lockdown training. Lockdown drills shall not be a substitute for any evacuation drills required for the occupancy. (404.3.3.3)

Please include name, address, and telephone numbers of the facility or occupancy (tenant) as well as the identification and assignment of personnel who can be contacted for further information or explanation of duties under the lockdown plan.

Once you have completed all three (3) parts of the plan, double-check the plan to ensure that all Fire Prevention Code requirements outlined in this publication are addressed. Then, assemble three (3) copies of the completed plan and submit for review and approval as specified on the front page of this publication.

Planners are encouraged to submit lockdown plans with fire safety and evacuation plans.



Copies of approved lockdown plans shall be kept with approved fire safety and evacuation plans which shall be available in the workplace for reference and review by employees. Copies shall be furnished to the fire code official for review upon request.



Lockdown plans shall be reviewed or updated annually or as necessitated by changes in staff assignments, occupancy, or the physical arrangement of the building.

Fairfax Virtual Assistant