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State Fire Marshal Gallagher, Commissioner Horne Applaud Orange County Public Schools


CONTACT: DFS Press Office
(850) 413-2842, or
Frances Marine or MacKay Jimeson, Dept. of Education
(850) 245-1413

TALLAHASSEE-Florida's Chief Financial Officer and State Fire Marshal Tom Gallagher joined Education Commissioner Jim Horne today to congratulate Orange County Public Schools for being selected to participate in the Safe and Secure Schools Project by the National Association of State Fire Marshals.

As one of only 20 participants in the program, Orange County Public Schools will test and refine analytical tools that could help schools assess, prioritize and then manage potential fire and safety risks that exist, at some level, in all school buildings. Orange County Public Schools has 158,000 students and 9,000 teachers.

"When parents drop their children off at school," Gallagher said, "they should be comfortable knowing they are being left in the hands of staff who care about them and their safety. The Orange County school district has taken great steps to ensure its schools are safe and in compliance with fire safety codes."

"Developing a safe learning environment for our children must be a top priority," Commissioner Horne said. "When students feel safe in school they can focus their attention on education. Orange County has shown the needed commitment to safety and security, developing an atmosphere that fosters learning."

The Department of Education (DOE) continues its efforts to develop a safer school environment. Through the K-20 Education Safety Partnership, DOE puts a focus on maintaining safety and security on all of Florida's school campuses, so teachers, school administrators and students can continue putting individual instruction and student achievement at the forefront of a quality education.

In the fall, the State Fire Marshal's Office will release its second annual report summarizing the findings of school fire code inspections reported by Florida's school districts.

For more information on the Safe and Secure Schools Project, please visit . To see last year's school inspection summary report, visit .