Is your child's school playing with fire? -


Is your child's school playing with fire?

Even if your child knows the drill when a fire alarm goes off at school their path to safety is sometimes compromised at public and private schools.

America Now combed through hundreds of school fire inspection reports to find out if your child's school is playing with fire. Nearly 800 fire marshal inspection reports from the past two years were reviewed.

"The state requires that you should be able to come out of any classroom and just about find two paths of exit," said Fire Marshal Howard McNatt, who shared dangers he looks for during an inspection.

That means exit signs must be working. Doors not only need to open easily but also need to close when the fire alarm is tripped to guide students toward the closest exit and keep fire from spreading.

There were reports of boxes and furniture in hallways or blocking emergency exits. Another hazard: too much artwork on the walls. Artwork was over the limit more than 50 times in hallways or classrooms. Absolutely nothing is allowed to hang from the ceiling.

Items too close to a sprinkler head could keep water from getting to the fire. Inspectors always note missing ceiling tiles. If heat escapes through the opening it delays activating the sprinkler system.

Some of the highest temperatures generated inside a school happened in the kitchen, and that is why extra precautions are taken in those areas. Many school kitchens have a sophisticated fire suppression system up in the hood, and it has to be inspected twice a year.

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