Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - Precautions Against Fire in Schools.

asked the Minister for Educatin whether there are any regulations concerning fire drill or other precautions against the danger of fire in schools, and, if so, what steps are taken to ensure that they are observed.

The regulations for the recognition or continued recognition of national schools require that a suitable fireguard be provided therein for each open fireplace and that adequate protection against burning or scalding be offorded in cases where stoves or other heating apparatus are used.

Grants are made by my Department towards the cost of the provision of such fireguards in vested schools.

A circular was issued in October, 1953, to all managers of national schools requesting them to make arrangements to ensure that all fires in schools are properly extinguished before the premises are vacated for the day. Attention was also called to the danger of leaving articles of clothing, stationery or other materials on electric storage heaters.

In the circumstances the need for formal fire drill for the pupils of national schools does not arise.

Vocational schools, which are also non-residential, are the property of the local authorities and the responsibility for the safety of the pupils in attendance rests with these authorities.

Secondary schools, which may be either residential or day schools, are privately owned institutions and the responsibility for the safety of the pupils in attendance therein devolves upon the managers and the owners.

It is understood that in the residential schools generally adequate safety precautions in the matter of fire escapes are provided and the buildings generally are centrally heated.