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Ohio House Passes Bill to Improve School Safety Measures

COLUMBUS—Today, the Ohio House of Representatives passed legislation to integrate school safety drills into the existing requirements for fire drills.

Specifically, House Bill 178:

Requires the principal or director of each public or private school to hold six fire drills (instead of the current nine drills per year) and four safety drills in alternating months each year.
Adds rapid evacuation procedures to school safety drills.
Requires three safety drills and one “theoretical” safety drill per school year.
Requires nine fire drills in buildings without smoke detectors.
Requires a school official's certification to include the date and time for each safety drill that was conducted during the previous school year and for each drill to be conducted during the current school year.
Amendment was added to require schools without sprinkler systems or smoke detection systems to continue to conduct fire drills (or rapid dismissal drills) at least nine times per year in accordance with rules adopted by the state fire marshal.

“House Bill 178 will improve emergency preparedness in Ohio schools, which will make schools safer for students,” said Speaker of the Ohio House William G. Batchelder (R-Medina). “This is an important step toward giving parents, students, and faculty peace of mind and providing the necessarily training to make our schools better learning environments for children.”

House Bill 178 will now move to the Ohio Senate.