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How to Keep Your Classroom Fire Safe If You’re a Teacher or Educator

As school faculty members prepare their classrooms and learning spaces for the new academic year, they should be making sure to take fire code requirements into consideration.

The information below is a guide form the CRFD Fire Marshal’s Office for setting up classrooms as well as maintaining a fire safe learning environment in the rest of a school building.

  1. Storage of combustible materials in all school spaces shall be orderly. Flammable materials should be separated from heaters or heating devices.
  2. Items should be stored AT LEAST 2 feet below the ceilings of a room (1.5 feet if sprinklers are present in the room). Shelving units, their contents and other items that are against a wall and not directly below sprinklers may extend up to the ceiling.
  3. Combustible materials, including artwork and teaching materials, shall not be stored in exit areas or on or within 5 feet of any exit door unless approved by the fire authority.
  • Exit doors are those doors that lead directly outside or into a foyer that leads directly outside.
  1. Combustible materials, including artwork and teaching materials, shall not be affixed to, or within 12 inches of, any exit access door unless approved by the fire authority.
  • Exit access doors are those that lead from a room into a corridor.
  1. Clothing and personal effects shall not be stored in corridors and lobbies unless sprinklers and smoke detectors are present. If they are not the items should be stored in metal lockers. Furnishings, decorations or other objects shall not be placed in the way of exits or block their view even if its temporary. The minimum corridor width must always be maintained.
  2. Exit should not be blocked within occupied rooms. An appropriate aisle way width in rooms with less than 50 students shall be 36 inches or the width of the door — whichever is greater.
  3. Artwork and teaching materials should not cover more than 20 percent of any wall in a room or corridor. They should also not be placed excessively in any one area of a corridor. No artwork or materials should be hanging from any fire protection devices.
  4. No highly combustible materials should be used in the school.
  5. Naturally cut trees are prohibited in schools that do not have sprinkler systems. Any artificial vegetation placed in a school building needs to have documentation that shows it complies with NFPA 701. Otherwise it is not allowed.
  6. No door wedges, or similar devices, are allowed to prop open any self-closing doors at any time.
  7. Access to all electrical panels in all areas of the school must be kept clear.
  8. Multi-plug adapters must be plugged into a fixed electrical outlet on the wall. Do not plug them into an extension cord!
  9. Multi-plug cords shall not extend through walls, ceilings, floors OR under doors or floor coverings. They also should be free from any physical damages.
  10. Extension cords should be grounded and used only with one portable appliance.
  11. Extension cords and flexible cords should not be affixed to structures OR extended through walls, ceilings or floors OR under doors or floor coverings. They also should be free from any physical damages.
  12. Extension cords shall be plugged directly into a fixed electrical outlet on a wall or into an approved multi-plug adapter. Extension cords SHOULD NOT be plugged into other extension cords!
  13. Extension cords should be an equal or heavier gauge than the gauge of the portable appliance cord.
  14. If you have rooms that are using multi-plugs and extension cords, it is recommended that you get permanent electrical outlets installed in the room.
  15. Fire drills should be conducted in the school AT LEAST once a month.