The state legislature’s Public Safety and Security Committee has approved a measure that would help prevent fires and enhance safety at public schools in Shelton and elsewhere in Connecticut, state Representative Jason Perillo, the committee’s Republican Leader, announced today.
The measure, Senate Bill 850, would require local fire marshals to submit reports on their inspections of school buildings to local boards of education, rather than submit them to school staff, said Representative Perillo, R-Shelton. The proposal reflects concepts Representative Perillo has been developing in consultation with the State Fire Marshal’s Association and the state Department of Public Safety since January. Perillo introduced the bill following the December fire at Shelton High School in the hope that it will ensure that schools are safe for students in Shelton and throughout the state.
“Requiring local fire marshals to submit their school inspection reports to their Boards of Education will facilitate that repairs be made to correct any potential hazards before they can result in fires that would endanger students, faculty and staff,” Perillo said. Just as importantly, Perillo said the measure would ensure that schools and their compliance with the fire code would be raised to the level of the board of education members. “This will help to ensure that problems are resolved while also helping to keep everyone aware of the importance of complying with the fire code. Compliance is not a luxury, it’s essential.”
“Although state statutes currently require fire marshals to conduct annual school building inspections, the requirements end there,” Perillo said. “This bill will make it clear that school boards and superintendents are responsible for eliminating any fire hazards discovered during inspections. It will remove any ambiguities about who is responsible for correcting fire hazards and ensure the work can be done in a timely manner,” Perillo said.
State Senator Dan Debicella, who worked with Perillo in crafting the bill, was pleased to see that Perillo had maneuvered the bill through the Public Safety Committee. “I commend the Committee for addressing a major gap in current state law by approving this bill,” Debicella said. “I urge my legislative colleagues to act favorably on it when it is referred to their committees and when it comes to the floor of the House and Senate.”