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Principals of Public and Private Schools Required to Report Incidents of Fire

Chapter 80 of the Acts of 2006, which was signed into law on May 12th, amends Chapter 148 of the Massachusetts General Laws to require principals of public and private schools to report any incident involving the unauthorized ignition of any fire within the school building or on school grounds to the local fire department. The new law takes effect on August 10, 2006. We are working with the Massachusetts Department of Fire Services, which will furnish a form for principals to use in reporting fires to the local fire department. We will post the form and any additional information provided by the Department of Fire Services on our website this summer. In the meantime, we want to be sure that principals and superintendents are aware of the new law, which includes two provisions. The first requires each school committee to inform teachers, administrators, and other professional staff of reporting requirements relating to fires. This provision amends Chapter 71, section 37L of the General Laws, which already requires each school committee to inform teachers, administrators, and other professional staff of reporting requirements relating to child abuse and neglect. The second provision is the fire reporting requirement, which reads as follows:

Chapter 148 of the General Laws is hereby amended by inserting after section 2 the following section:-

Section 2A. The principal of any public or private school that provides instruction to pupils in any of grades 1 to 12, inclusive, shall immediately report any incident involving the unauthorized ignition of any fire within the school building or on school grounds to the local fire department. The principal shall submit a written report of the incident to the head of the fire department within 24 hours on a form furnished by the department of fire services. The report shall be filed without regard to the extent of the fire or whether there was a response by the fire department. The head of the fire department shall report such incident to the marshal in accordance with section 2.

The full text of the new law and reporting form are available at

View HTML Page Law | Download PDF Document School Fire Reporting Form



Last Updated: July 25, 2006
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