Fire and Electrical Safety

  • Durham Public Schools assures that proactive measures are taken at both the site and district-wide levels to reinforce and verify that fire and electrical safety are treated as a high priority. DPS Board Policies #6320 – Fire Drills and #6330 – Fire Prevention were adopted in 1999 to clearly establish both the responsibility and obligation of school district personnel to follow specific methods and schedules for fire drills and fire prevention activities.
    There are three primary methods that DPS achieves overall fire safety throughout DPS:
    • All school buildings are inspected by a fire marshal two times each year.
    • School administrators complete monthly fire drills and bi-monthly inspection reports to provide ongoing focused activities that prepare employees and students for fire prevention and response.
    Fire Extinguishers
    DPS Maintenance Services has contracted with a vendor to install, service and maintain fire extinguishers in appropriate places on our campuses and in outlying areas.  Following safety regulations, extinguishers are inspected, refilled, and replaced (as necessary) to protect DPS’ students and staff.  If you notice a problem with a fire extinguisher on one of our campuses, please report it to Maintenance Services at 919-560-3827.
    Fire Drills and Inspection Reporting
    In keeping with North Carolina law, school principals conduct a fire drill during the first week of school opening and then once each month thereafter.  At the same time, they conduct bi-monthly inspections to help prevent fires and to ensure safe escape in the event of a real fire.  School principals submit a written report of the monthly drill and the inspection to DPS Safety & Security Services.
    Electrical Safety
    Durham Public Schools makes regular use of electrical equipment.  Teachers, principals, support persons, and Maintenance Services work hard to make sure that electrical equipment is used safely on school campuses.
    Parents who may be assisting with special events at school should be aware of and follow the same electrical safety guidelines that DPS personnel follow: 
    • Electrical cords can cause a tripping hazard.  Keep cords secured away from feet, walk spaces, drawers, and sharp edges.
    • Do not tape cords down or run them underneath carpet.  This can cause overheating of the wire insulation and cord damage that cannot be seen until it starts a fire.  If you cannot move a cord and your job tasks require that you have an outlet, then make a request to your principal that a new outlet be installed.  In the meantime, secure the cord to the floor with cord covering strips.
    • Keep ignitable materials away from electrical outlets.
    • Electrical equipment should be plugged directly into the wall outlet.  Do not use extension cords for permanent appliances.  Make sure all electrical cords are Underwriters Laboratory (UL) rated, free of cracks or tears, and have an intact grounding prong.
    • Drop cords are not to be used as permanent wiring. Schools should place a work order for areas that need permanent power. 
    • Drop cords are not to be plugger into surge protectors.