One step in fire prevention on educational campuses is education itself. Providing students and faculty with the knowledge of fire safety and prevention and how to properly respond in an emergency situation will go a long way. But in an emergency, time is a valuable resource between evacuation and arrival of our first responders. Since 2000, college campuses have seen 86 fatal fires claiming 123 lives at facilities or housing within 3 miles of campus. Between 2007 – 2011, fire departments in the United States responded to an estimated average of 3,810 structure fires per year in campus housing facilities causing $9 million in property damage annually.
Routine inspections, consistent reporting to facility maintenance personnel and prompt response time to all emergency related services are key factors in providing and maintaining a safe learning environment. So what advantages does summer have compared to the rest of the school year?
- Less foot traffic allows for the thorough test and inspections of fire alarms, fire suppression, backflow prevention, fire pumps, fire sprinkler systems, all the way down to fire extinguishers and special hazard services.
- Complete inventory of a facility’s fire life safety systems and provide instruction to facility managers about inspection reports as well as walkthrough of fire protection equipment.
- Scheduling in summer months can provide adequate time to begin an overhaul of outdated protection systems or update existing equipment.
- Check systems for winterization. An easily overlooked issues when it comes to educational facilities and the amount of fire prevention equipment is making sure it is winterized to prevent sprinkler systems from leaking or bursting due to below-freezing temperatures. It’s better to check before it is too late.
- Train staff on updated fire safety equipment before the school year begins. As we know, knowledge is power and can mean the difference between life and death in an emergency situation. Training staff, especially facility management teams, to identify and report potential issues is mandatory for maintaining a safe learning environment.
Whether you’re operating an elementary school or a university, summer is here which means that foot -traffic on your campus and in campus facilities has significantly decreased. There’s no better time to update your fire safety equipment than with affordable fire protection for your educational facilities.
Source: Fire Analysis & Research Division