For many, Winter Break means travel, gift-giving, shared meals, and time spent among family and friends. Empty campuses also make it a great time to take a step back and review certain practices—like campus maintenance and safety. Although we hope you are taking some good time off during the break, if you do happen to be on campus, consider planning a campus walk-through or classroom tour while students and most staff are away, looking at things like:
Deep Cleaning needs: carpet, walls, pavement, roof/gutters
Repair needs: playground and recreation equipment
Ceiling tiles with stains that can signal leaks
Fencing and exterior walls
Signage: cleaning, repair, or replacement needs
Landscape issues, especially wasp/hornet nests and vermin nests
As stated in a report from the U.S. Department of Education and the National Center for Education Statistics:
While not every member of the maintenance staff needs to be an expert at remedying all the environmental hazards that can arise in school facilities, all maintenance workers should be trained to identify the signs of common environmental problems they may encounter. For example, recognizing suspicious materials, vulnerable conditions, and potential dangers enables them to take the first step (alerting others) toward protecting themselves, other building occupants, and the facility in general. It also ensures that most potential problems will be remedied before they become full-fledged catastrophes.
Good facility management keeps everyone happy, healthy, and safe. Preventative maintenance also helps avoid expensive damage and future closures. Consider how your staff can work together to see potential problems and take preventative action. Check out the full report here.