Safety News

  • Wednesday, November 14, 2012 1:36 PM | Anonymous member

    It's that time of the year to remind everyone about classroom, hallway, and general school decorations.

    Please share this email with your entire staff or discuss at a staff meeting.

    (Additionally, it would be a good idea to assign this topic to your School Safety Committee so the issue can be monitored.)

    Highlights from the State Fire Marshall's office published guidelines pertaining to schools are:

          EGRESS - Access to exits and exit paths shall not be obstructed by decorative materials.


          Candles and other sources of open flame are not allowed for any decorations or ceremonies, except as approved by the fire code official prior to the event.

          Sources of ignition shall not be allowed within the vicinity of combustible decorative materials.

          ELECTRICAL -

          Only UL listed miniature lights or LED style lights shall be used in accordance with their listing.

          Extension cords shall be approved commercially manufactured UL listed assemblies (14-guage minimum 15-amp minimum). Only grounded or polarized extension cords shall be used.

          Electrical lights and extension cords that are physically damaged or altered shall not be used unless repairs are in accordance with the state adopted electrical code.


          All decorations shall be either inherently fire retardant or treated with a flame retardant to be flame resistant and shall comply with the Oregon Fire Code 2010 Edition, Section 807.

          Artwork, decorations for learning purposes, and student generated materials on the walls in routes of egress shall not exceed 20% of the wall area.

          Displays for classrooms and hallways:

          Paper materials such as artwork and decorations shall be secured flat against the wall or bulletin board.

          Three dimensional artwork and decor (has height, width, and depth, or thickness) is prohibited unless approved by the local fire code official.

          Limit displays to 40 square feet with a three-foot "fire break" between displays.

          Displays shall not cover more than 20% of a hallway wall area.

          Classroom doors shall not be covered with paper.

          Materials suspended from the ceiling (hanging decor) shall be at least 24 inches below the ceiling and be at least 18 inches from fire sprinkler heads.

          Items suspended cannot hang low enough to interfere with exiting.

          Ceilings shall not be covered with flammable materials.

    A complete copy of the Oregon Fire Code Advisory Memo can be found here:


  • Thursday, October 11, 2012 8:53 AM | Anonymous member

    Planning for Weather-Related Emergencies: Tips for Reducing Risk

    Tornado Image

  • Thursday, October 04, 2012 2:11 PM | Anonymous member
    Dear Members,

    2012/2013 promises to be an exciting year for OSSOA. We look forward to building on the momentum of our annual workshop held in July at the Riverhouse in Bend. If you joined us at the conference you heard presentations on the emerging risks associated with electronic media and social networks, and the importance of safety committees and sound risk management practices. There were also opportunities to meet and network with colleagues around the state including a roundtable discussion on the challenges of complying with Integrated Pest Management regulations. We have received excellent feedback from those of you who attended the conference and have already begun planning for next year. We would love to hear from you if there are topics you would like to see covered.

    The strength of our association is drawn from the collective knowledge and expertise of our membership and is supported by the relationships we build with our sponsor members. We all face many of the same challenges, and answers and solutions can often be found by networking through OSSOA. We become stronger as our membership grows, when we add new sponsors, and when our organization makes it easier to share resources with each other. We are committed to working this year to grow in all three areas through networking, our website, and our annual workshop.

    I encourage you to explore the resources OSSOA has to offer. Visit our website and see the latest in the world of safety, take advantage of the networking opportunities, and make plans to join us next July 23 in Bend.

    Finally, if you have any questions or suggestions for how we can serve you better, please feel free to contact me or any of the board members.

    Best regards,

    Kevin Jones, ARM
    Loss Control Specailist
    Beaverton School District
    OSSOA President
    (503) 591-4561
  • Monday, February 27, 2012 2:22 PM | Anonymous
    We have posted resources to start you on the path to implementation.

    IPM is a common-­sense pest management strategy that integrates multiple tactics including sanitation, pest exclusion, cultural, mechanical, and other non-­chemical methods.

    Do you have resources you have found useful? What are you still looking for? Let us know by emailing

  • Tuesday, December 06, 2011 12:58 PM | Anonymous
    The EPA is offering a free webinar on indoor air quality this Friday, December 9 at 10:00 a.m. (PST)


    From the EPA email:
    The U.S. EPA, Indoor Environments Division is hosting a webinar featuring David Blake, Environmental Specialist/Indoor Air/Asbestos, Northwest Clean Air Agency and Richard Prill, Building Science and Indoor Air Quality Specialist, Washington State University. Together, they will help attendees:
    • Gain insight on how to identify potential IAQ issues before they become major problems for your school community.
    • Learn when and how to take, interpret and use IAQ-related measurements to determine the condition of your school buildings.
    • Discover tools and resources your school can use, including checklists within the IAQ Tools for Schools Action Kit, to conduct a thorough and effective walkthrough investigation.
    • Learn the importance of prioritizing IAQ issues and the power of effective communication when responding to reports and concerns.
  • Monday, September 12, 2011 1:45 PM | Anonymous
    We are a week into school and over a week into September and it's probably time to share some information about National Preparedness Month. Especially as we've just seen the 10th anniversary of the September 11 attacks and some devastating weather in other parts of the country. Oregon has been relatively quiet (knock on wood) compared to the other parts of the United States but that doesn't mean we shouldn't be thinking about how we should prepare, react, deal with a disaster.

    First, the federal government site,, offers some great videos, toolkits and public service advertisements you can use to educate your constituents. They also have a site designed for kids which is useful in preparing kids for those emergency drills.

    Oregon Emergency Management has lots of information as well. Including a link to Citizen Corps which helps coordinate preparedness efforts in communities. Schools have a large role to play when it comes to community planning as they are most often the site of shelters or other distribution points. It is important to have community agreements and relationships built so relief and recovery can be started immediately after an occurrence.

    And finally, American Red Cross has resources and a store where you can buy supplies. Their list of resources and advice for National Preparedness Month was posted September 1. They even have a blog that can be RSS fed into your favorite reader (for those tech savvy individuals).

    Now it's your turn. Tell us what you know. What resources have you come across that have been helpful in your planning for a disaster?
  • Tuesday, July 05, 2011 11:58 AM | Anonymous
    Two OSHA 10-hour construction trainings have been scheduled for Oregon school districts. The topics covered in the construction trainings are relevant to schools even if you aren't building or renovating. Plan to attend August 11 and 12, 2011. BELFOR Property Restoration of Oregon is providing the approved training free of charge. Space is limited.

    The trainings will be held in Salem and the specific location will be sent after you register.

    More information and the agenda is available on the calendar.

    Register by sending an email to Phil Wentz including the attendee names and your school district name.
  • Thursday, May 26, 2011 3:38 PM | Anonymous
    The National Safety Council has resources to help organizations participate in National Safety Month. This year, the weekly topics are:

    June 1-4 - Summertime safety
    June 5-11 - Preventing overexertion
    June 12-18 - Teen driving safety
    June 19-25 - Preventing slips, trips and falls
    June 26-30 - On the road, off the phone

    In addition to the resources provided each week, NSC is making available a CPR and AED online training for families and community members. It's FREE and does not have to be completed all at once. Participants have 45 days to complete the course. What's the catch you ask? You must sign up between June 1-7, 2011 to take advantage of the free offer.
  • Wednesday, May 25, 2011 11:57 AM | Anonymous

    Everybody has questions about the new EPA Renovation, Repair and Painting rule. We compiled a list of questions OSSOA members asked and asked Barbara Zeal the program coordinator for the Lead Poisining Prevention Program in the Office of Environmental Public Health to answer them. The entire document can be found in our Health issues resources.

    If you have other questions about the RRP rule, let us know.

Oregon School Safety Officers Association
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