Notice to All Illinois Private Elementary and Secondary Schools from the Office of the State Fire Marshal
The Office of the Illinois State Fire Marshal ("OSFM") recognizes the pivotal role assumed by private school administrators in safeguarding Illinois school children. To that end, the OSFM would like to remind you of your respective duties under the School Safety Drill Act, 105 ILCS 128 et al. ("Act"). The Act has the express purpose of establishing "minimum requirements and standards for schools to follow when conducting school safety drills and reviewing school emergency and crisis response plans and to encourage schools and first responders to work together for the safety of children." As detailed in the Act, "all" Illinois schools are required to institute various safety drills and engage in an annual review of the school's safety preparedness. More specifically, the Act imposes the following tasks upon private elementary and secondary schools each academic year:
- Conduct at least three school evacuation drills, one of which must include the participation of the appropriate local fire department or district.
- Conduct a law enforcement drill, with the participation of the appropriate law enforcement agency.
- Conduct, at a minimum, one severe weather and shelter-in-place drill.
- If applicable, during each academic year, schools are required to conduct at least one bus evacuation drill.
- Drills that are conducted within a school building are required to be conducted at each school building that houses school children.
- Perform, at a minimum, one annual review of each school building's emergency and crisis response plans, protocols, and procedures and each building's compliance with the school's safety drill programs.
Upon conclusion of your school's annual review, a Compliance Report must be completed and sent to the OSFM detailing same. The Compliance Report form may be found, on-line, at [insert hyperlink]. Paper copies may be obtained by calling the OSFM Division of Fire Prevention, (217) 785-0969. Compliance Reports completed by private elementary and secondary schools are to be submitted to the OSFM, on or before October 1st of each school year, at Office of the State Fire Marshal, Division of Fire Prevention, 1035 Stevenson Dr., Springfield, IL 62703-4259. Copies of the Compliance Report should also be provided to each appropriate fire department, fire protection district and/or law enforcement agency that participated in the review. The Compliance Report form may be found, on-line, at the link provided below.
For those schools that have already submitted a form for the 2011-2012 academic year, a new form need not be submitted for said academic year.