Department of Health ChangesStatute 381.006 has given the Department of Education (DOE) authority for developing changes on existing standards for sanitation for public and private schools. DOE is working with the Department of health (DOH) on the development of these changes that include incorporating much of what had been located in DOH Chapter 64E-13 into SREF 2012. Also Section 443 of the Florida Building Code was recently enacted and contains much of general sanitation items from 64E-13 that will affect all schools, colleges and universities, public and private.
County Health Department (CHD) staff, conducting sanitation inspections of public schools and charter schools on local school board property will use these standards and forms. DOH is required to use the sanitation standards of SREF as well as section 443 when conducting annual sanitation inspections of charter schools on school board property. A new public/charter school inspection report form is being created and finalized for use. Private Charter schools not owned by the school board will be inspected by DOH using school rule Chapter 6A-2.004, FAC for private schools.
CHD staff shall use the school inspection report form, DH 4030 01/05, until a new inspection report form is created and finalized for use.
DOE is the enforcement authority for any facilities out of compliance with DOE Chapter 6A2.0010 and will receive and process any petitions for variance or wavier.
Charter SchoolsStatute 1002.33(18) Draws a distinction for what standards to apply between what are referred to as "Conversion" charter schools and "Other" charter schools. Charter schools and conversion charter schools being public school district schools and other charter schools being those operated by some other sponsor including a private entity.
Statute 1013.12(5) and State Fire Marshal Rule 69A-58 requires fire safety inspections by local fire departments for all facilities not owned or leased by a school district.
Statute 1013.12(1) and (2) require that an annual fire safety, casualty safety, and sanitation safety inspection be made annually of any public educational or ancillary plant including charter schools. Public school districts are not required to do any inspections or maintain private charter schools.
Statute 1013.12(3)(b) requires that local fire departments must inspect all private charter schools using the standards adopted by the State Fire Marshal for private schools. Local fire departments are not required to inspect any public schools or public charter schools.
Statute 381.006 is being amended and will specify what changes are being made affecting requirements for DOH and local health agencies. New titles for charter schools will more clearly define what public and non-public charter schools are.
Changes to Chapter 633State Fire Marshal has issued a memo addressing significant changes that are now in effect as of July1, 2013.
The primary changes affecting school districts apply to fire inspectors, in particular abolishment of the classification of Special Fire Safety Inspector as of June 30 this year. The opportunity to retake the Fire Inspector Test by that date has now expired.
Other changes include inspector certification being valid for 4 years, renewal of fire inspector certification requiring completion of 54 hours of continuing education, and on or after January 1, 2015 renewal training to include 8 hours of education in Florida Fire Prevention Code.
Flammable Storage CabinetsFlorida Building Code 4126.96.36.199 and SREF 5(13)(x)2.b.
Rooms used for the storage, handling, and disposal of chemicals used in school and college laboratories shall be vented to the exterior. The ventilation system shall not be connected to the air-conditioning return air system, and the rooms shall be kept at moderate temperatures.
Flammable and combustible liquid storage cabinets are designed to protect the internal contents from a fire outside the cabinet. According to NFPA Code 30-9.5.4, the cabinet is not required to be vented for fire protection purposes but if venting is provided it must be mechanical and per manufacturer's specifications. Venting a cabinet is not even recommended since venting could compromise the ability of the cabinet to protect its contents from a fire. Also cabinets are portable and any relocation would require disconnection and reconnection of cabinet vents. In any case the room is still required to be vented whether the cabinet is vented or not.
Online Safety Course: School Administrators
For your information the Online Safety Program (OSP) Online Safety in Existing Educational Facilities Course is available at all times for instruction in school building and site safety. OSP stresses how important it is for administrators, teachers, and all building occupants to recognize hazardous building conditions and how to prevent and eliminate them. This is a totally automated and narrated course that districts have been offering for continuing education.
For more information contact Jack Villagomez at
Serious Life Safety Hazards
“Serious Life Safety Hazards” referred to in statute 1013.12, require prompt corrective action by the board or withdrawal of facility from use until corrected. Those Serious Life Safety Hazards as defined by the State Fire Marshal include: Non-functional Fire Alarm, Non-functional Fire Sprinkler System, Padlocks or other unapproved locks at exits, Inadequate exits, Hazardous Electrical Conditions, Potential Structural Failure, Hazardous Storage, nonfunctioning or missing Incorrect heat or smoke detectors, Fire Extinguishers missing or not inspected, Fire doors w/ wedges or doorstops.
Building managers must prevent these hazards from occurring or left unattended where they do exist. These are all hazardous conditions that district fire inspectors and local fire officials check for when performing required fire inspections.
Remember that exit stairs are a “Protected Means of Egress” and are to be treated as such. Occupants must be able to enter a stair and be protected from fire and smoke all the way out of the building. Regardless what other codes may allow as an exception, Department of Education does not allow storage in a stair including the area under the steps coming down from the floor above. This is serious enough to be repeated in SREF 5 (10)(a)34., 69A-58.0081(15)(c), and Florida Building Code 423.20.1 General storage. See Informative Links below - “What’s Wrong with this Picture”?
"Frequently Asked Questions": RevisedWe are revising and correcting information currently displayed on our website. Several of the answers provided under Quick Links "Frequently Asked Questions" need to be updated.
Example: Go to Frequently Asked Questions and note that Items 18 and 19 should read as follows:
18. (Existing Buildings) Are two annual firesafety inspections required?
No. Per 2012 edition of Chapter 5 SREF and 2013 F.S. and Rule 69A-58, local fire departments are no longer required but may perform an annual fire inspection. The district must perform an annual comprehensive safety inspection that includes firesafety for each facility. A joint inspection may be performed.
19. What is the current edition of SREF?
2014 SREF (State Requirements for Educational Facilities) became effective November 4, 2014 and a PDF version can be downloaded at: http://www.fldoe.org/core/fileparse.php/5423/urlt/srefrule14.pdf (PDF).
If you have any questions about answers given on the current website contact us and we'll help you.
To be posted at a later date.
- Typical Topics - "What's Wrong with this Picture"?
- SREF and Building Code
- Fire Prevention: State Fire Marshal and Fire Prevention Code
- 69A-58: State Fire Marshal Rule - Existing Facilities
- CPSC Handbook Public Playground Safety (PDF)
- FSPMA: Florida School Plant Managers Association
- FFMIA: Florida Fire Marshals Inspectors Association
- Florida Statutes
- School IPM - Integrated Pest Management
- EPA - Indoor Air/Environmental Quality
- OSHA - U.S. Department of Labor
- SFM Declaratory Statements
Contact:Office of Educational Facilities
1054 Turlington Building
325 West Gaines Street
Tallahassee, Florida 32399-0400