According to the National Fire Protection Association, NFPA, in 2007-2011, U.S. fire departments responded to an estimated average of 5,690 structure fires in educational properties, annually. These fires caused an annual average of 85 civilian fire injuries and $92 million in direct property damage. About three-quarters (71%) of the structure fires occurring in educational properties involve schools providing pre-school through high-school education.
Take a look at this infographic to see more School Building Fire Safety.
Planning Helps Prevent Fires
Needless to say, we all know preventing fire is important. NFPA recommends that fire drills be held at least once a month while school is in session. In addition to making sure smoke detectors are properly wired and have new batteries, make sure to add these fire prevention items to your PM list:
- Prohibit flammable materials in certain areas of the facility
- Periodically inspect the building or the schools for safety violations
- Maintain fire alarm systems for detection and warning of fire
- Obtain and maintain a complete inventory of firestops
- Keep a record of changes made to buildings as renovations can create challenges for firestop systems
- Set up schedules for regularly inspecting mechanical, electrical, and plumbing rooms to look for firestop breaches
- Develop or update an evacuation plan readily available for teachers and staff
Historic Tome School Building fire in MD on Sept. 21 ruled arson. Photo courtesy of Will Muller.
Let Technology Be Your Wingman
Safety plans can be very extensive and time consuming. Certain items on the list needs to be checked daily whereas some items are inspected annually. Failing to properly following the plan can have dire affects should an emergency happen—what if a fire extinguisher fails to work when it’s needed? Or what if a sprinkler doesn’t go off in the kitchen during a grease trap fire?
Use technology as your “double backing” when it comes to your safety plan by setting up automated safety schedules. Not only will it provide you and your team with reminders and scheduled work orders, it will also provide you with data to document your hard work:
- Set up your safety schedules based upon recurrence
- Automatically send a work order to the right maintenance person to complete task
- Easily monitor your safety schedule by running reports
If you are using a preventive maintenance software, such as PMDirect, you can easily set up
safety schedules templates, or integrate these steps into your existing building inspection schedules.
If you are not using a preventive maintenance system to manage your buildings and facilities,
learn more here.