Investigation of Metro Atlanta schools stresses importance of fire safety precautions

Recent national events have emphasized that emergencies are not to be taken lightly, especially when they happen at schools.

An investigation by Atlanta’s 11 Alive News highlights the common mistakes schools are making that put children in danger of fire emergencies and stresses the importance of fire safety precautions.

Based on a two-year history of fire inspection reports, the TV station’s reporters learned that many local area schools were found to be in violation of fire codes.

According to the report, during the last round of inspections 92 percent of Gwinnett County elementary schools had fire code violations, while 85 percent of Cobb County schools and 68 percent of Fulton County schools also had violations. Thirty-five percent of Atlanta Elementary Schools failed to get a violation free report, as did 10 percent of DeKalb County Schools.

While most of the violations came from common schoolhouse errors – such as too much artwork on the walls, combustibles hanging from the ceiling, improper use of extension cords and space heaters mostly all of which were corrected the same day, the violations could have led to disastrous fire emergency situations at the schools.

The National Fire Protection Agency’s research shows that an estimated 4,000 structure fires were reported each year between 2007 and 2011 in nursery, elementary, middle and high school facilities, with most occurring between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m.

Another 700 fires a year are reported at college campuses and adult education facilities.

Considering the prevalence of structure fires at educational facilities, the services provided by Integrated Fire Protection are meant to keep just that thing from happening.

“It is vitally important to ensure that regular inspection, testing and maintenance of life safety systems are strictly adhered to based on the standards set forth from The National Fire Protection Association Codes,” said John Bennett, President of Integrated Fire Protection.

From portable extinguishers, fire sprinkler systems to fire alarm systems, the trained and certified inspectors and technicians at Integrated Fire Protection can break down the best way to address the required inspections, testing and maintenance to ensure safety of students, teachers, staff and the building itself.

According to 11 Alive News, every school is inspected at least once a year and if violations are found they are revisited to make sure that problems have been corrected.

Watch the 11 Alive segment here: