To: All Heads of Fire Departments
From: Stephen D. Coan, State Fire Marshal
Date: June 1, 2006
Re: Reporting of School Fires

"An Act Relative to the Reporting of Fires in Schools" was signed into law by Governor Romney on May 12, 2006. The new law (Chapter 80 of the Acts of 2006) becomes effective on August 10, 2006.

This law requires that the principal of any public or private school of grades 1-12 shall immediately report any incident of unauthorized ignition of any fire within the school building, or on its grounds, to the local fire department. Within 24 hours, the principal shall submit a written report of the incident to the head of the fire department on a form furnished by the Department of Fire Services (this form is currently being prepared). The principal must file this report whether or not the fire department responded. The fire department shall report the incident to the Marshal pursuant to Chapter 148 § 2 (MFIRS).

The law was created to mandate that schools report fires that may have previously gone unreported. The effect will be greater protection of our children and the ability to identify possible juvenile fire setters to provide appropriate early intervention. DFS will be preparing correspondence to be sent to the Commissioner of Education along with the form asking them to make the local school systems aware of the new law. I would encourage you to work with your schools in this regard.


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