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House Co-Sponsorship Memoranda

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House of Representatives
Session of 2017 - 2018 Regular Session


Posted: February 10, 2017 03:44 PM
From: Representative James R. Roebuck, Jr.
To: All House members
Subject: Fire Drill Compliance in Public Schools
In the near future I will be introducing legislation that will ensure that all schools across the commonwealth are conducting and accurately documenting required Fire Drills and Emergency evacuation drills.

Last year it was brought to my attention that several schools in the Philadelphia School District were not performing enough fire drills. The law requires public schools to conduct monthly fire drills while school is in session for a total of 10 each year. Reports showed that only 15% of Philadelphia schools performed 10 fire drills during the 2014-2015 school year.

Fire Drills are very important to ensure that students and teachers are prepared in the event that an emergency occurs and they need to evacuate the school building. This legislation will improve the transparency, compliance and efficiency of fire drills for all school districts.

The Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE) will be required to create a standard fire drill log to be used by the principal or person in charge of the drill and kept on file at the school. In addition the records will be sent to PDE and compiled into a report. The report will be sent to the State Fire commissioner who will create a searchable database of fire drill compliance by school districts and the House and Senate Education Committees will also receive a copy of the report annually.

The goal of this legislation is to improve public awareness of the mandatory fire drills, ensure that all school are conducting fire drills and to provide accountability to parents and taxpayers. Please join me in co-sponsoring this much needed legislation.

Introduced as HB1021