A change in state law raises the question about schools properly conducting fire drills.

Schools  in the state are still required to hold a fire drill once a month. But the change in the law eliminated the requirement that schools file a report with both the local fire department and the state Department of Commerce.

Now, according to the Commerce Department's Ron Buchholz, schools just keep the records on site available for inspection.

But even when Commerce did oversee the fire drill law compliance wasn't always 100 %. For example, one school held all its drills in September and October. One would conduct a fire drill at 5:30 in the morning when only a janitor was there.

Commerce is still responsible for educating schools about the fire drill requirements. Local fire departments usually ask for the fire drill reports when conducting building inspections once or twice a year. So, Buchholz says the safety of students and staff is not compromised.



AUDIO: Jim Dick reports ( :56 MP3 )

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