Harris County leaders discuss safety plans for the upcoming school year

HARRIS COUNTY, Texas – Harris County Fire Marshal, Laurie Christensen, and Harris County Precinct 3 Commissioner Tom Ramsey held a joint news conference on Wednesday to address safety for the upcoming school year.

“Part of that emergency action plan is how we are going to respond to an emergency,” Christensen said.

She says good communication is critical. Her department is currently working with schools in the county on checking fire alarms, sprinklers, emergency exits, lighting systems, and locks.

Christensen says they are increasing their security efforts in the wake of the Uvalde school shooting.

“The schools are establishing a basic standard of care,” Commissioner Tom Ramsey said.

Ramsey says a lot of those recommendations will come from the newly formed “Safe School Commission.”

The group is made up of teachers, parents, students, school administrators, and trustees.

“They’ve looked at facilities, they’re looked at the mental health issues, they’ve looked at training in terms of the students, in terms of the teachers, in terms of those attending,” he said.

Christensen is advising parents to ask their children’s schools about their emergency plans and if they’ve had a fire and life safety inspection.

“It’s about building those relationships before an emergency occurs,” she said.

Ramsey says the “Safe School Commission’s” report should be available to the public in a couple of weeks.

“We’re going to be able to save lives by having these conversations,” Christensen added.

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