Chicopee teachers upset following fire inspections in schools

Chicopee teachers reached out to 22News with their concerns

CHICOPEE, Mass. (WWLP) – Some Chicopee teachers and students were upset after fire code inspections in the schools.

The Chicopee Fire Department recently inspected Chicopee schools to ensure they’re following the fire code. After inspections, some teachers reached out to 22News and were upset that the fire department forced them to take down classroom wall posters, decorations, and move furniture. These items, they say, are a vital part of their classroom.

Chicopee Fire Prevention Capt. Mark Galerneau told 22News that the fire code they enforce in classrooms does not have any major changes to it. He said the Chicopee Fire Department does these inspection yearly. They also go back throughout the year to make sure that the fire code is enforced.

Related: Teachers and students upset over fire code enforcement

“The fire departments state wide are tasked with enforcing fire safety codes in regards to the schools, most of them apply to paper materials on the walls of classrooms and corridors,” said Galerneau.

According to Capt. Galerneau, in 2015 there were 253 school fires in Massachusetts, which caused nearly $7 million in damages.

The code can also vary by classroom and school, depending on whether the building has sprinklers or not.

Capt. Galerneau also told 22News that the fire department is in cooperation with the school administration to make sure everyone understands the code.