Course 571 - School Safety: Exterior Facilities

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Building Maintenance

school maintenance

It is important to keep school buildings in good condition by performing routine inspections and maintenance to make sure the building and structures are safe for students and staff members. Regular inspection processes are the basis of good building maintenance practice because it helps identify necessary repairs at an early stage to minimize the risk of bigger and costly problems in the future. Experts say engineers and surveyors should provide a visual inspection of the structures on an annual basis.

This module will take a closer look at the areas around the school building that need to be taken care of on a regular basis.

Inspection Areas

stairways

Key areas of inspection should include the following:

  • Roof level: covering, flashings, gutters, gulleys and downpipes, and chimney stacks
  • External walls: cladding, rendering, windows and doors, and damp proof course
  • Roof space: roof structure, insulation, and ventilation
  • Internal rooms: ceiling, walls and floors, windows, and doors
  • Stairs: tread, risers, and handrails
  • Services: electrical, heating, plumbing, ventilation, water supply, fire, alarms, intruder prevention, and lightning protection systems

When the inspection is complete, make sure to draw up an action plan and identify what work is required to distinguish between both essential and desired work. It is also necessary to keep the inspection information, such as photographs or measurements that were taken during the inspection. Let’s take a closer look at some things you need to remember.

Inspection Areas (continued)

windows

Know where to look for information. Buildings can change hands and it can be difficult to secure all the necessary and important inspection information. When deciding with whom to place the information, you should consider management staff, third party suppliers and contractors, design teams, inspection authorities, health and safety departments, building surveyors, and structural engineers.

Check existing documentation for basic construction details. It is worth looking at existing building condition surveys. They may have been completed previously to determine funding needs of the building or even as part of refurbishment efforts in the past. You should also identify other documentation, such as local authority records, education authority records, and alteration documents over the building’s lifetime.

Look at the fabric of the building both as a whole and its individual components. Are window frames properly secured to the building or are window openings showing any signs of cracking? Look for signs of wear and tear in general, such as cracking, movement or leaning of ceiling tiles. These can cause potential instability issues. Make sure to review the accident log to figure out any accident or injury patterns.

Secure any potential hazards. Building maintenance should include both the overall actions required to complete maintenance work and provide temporary arrangements.

It may be necessary to cordon off an area of the building to mitigate accident or injury. Make sure to take into account all necessary measures, such as adequate sign posting indicating the area is off-limits.

Monthly Maintenance Checks

As mentioned earlier, it is necessary to do maintenance checks throughout the school building on a regular basis. Every month, a more detailed inspection should occur.

On the Grounds

  • Trim any trees or shrubs that are close to the building.
  • Collect any garbage around the buildings. Burn and bury it.
  • Check for termite tunnels and remove them. Make sure you dig out any termite nests you find around the buildings.
  • monthly checks
  • Remove all garbage and debris from storm drains and check outlets for blockage as well.
  • Check main water supply pipes and outside pipes and taps for leaks. Make sure you repair them, as needed.
  • Check to make sure all electric pumps are operating correctly.
  • Weed and tidy up any flowerbeds.

Outside the Buildings

  • Remove any leaves or garbage from the rooftops.
  • Check tiled roofs for loose tiles and fix if needed.
  • Check external ceilings for damp patches that indicate leaks.
  • Remove any leaves or garbage from the gutters and down-pipes, especially during the wet season.
  • Sweep the outside walls and underside of roofs in all buildings to clean insect nests and cobwebs.
  • Make sure external light fittings and switches are working correctly, and switch covers are properly fixed and not damaged. Clean light fittings, if necessary.

Annual Maintenance Checks

Every year, a member of the school maintenance team needs to inspect the school grounds and buildings.

On the Grounds

  • Trim back any trees or shrubs that are too close to the buildings.
  • Check for termite nests and dig out any that are found.
  • Check storm drains and outlets for cracks. Make sure to repair, if necessary.
  • Check that electrical pumps are working. Follow maintenance procedures and instructions in the handbook or call an electrician to make any needed repairs.
  • Check paving around buildings.
  • Check paths and roads within the site.
  • Check walls or fences and gates for damage. Repair them, if necessary.
fences

Outside the Buildings

  • Replace any loose or damaged tiles or ridge pieces on tiled roofs.
  • Check corrugated steel or fiber-cement roofs for loose nails or screws and damaged sheets. Paint or replace any damaged sheets or flashings.
  • Check any gutters or down-pipes for blockages, damage, and rust. Repair or replace, if necessary.
  • Check external ceilings for indications of roof leaks, and sagging or broken panels and repair or replace, if necessary. Repair any leaks as well.
  • Check external gas piping, heating/cooling, and electrical installations.
  • Steel-framed buildings: Check steel wall, veranda, and roof frames for rust and repair. Re-paint or replace, if necessary.
  • Timber-framed buildings: Check timber cladding for rot or termite damage. Repair, replace, or re-paint, if necessary.

In conclusion, remember that regular inspections on the site can help identify necessary repairs BEFORE they cause larger problems in the future.

Instructions

Before beginning this quiz, we highly recommend you review the module material. This quiz is designed to allow you to self-check your comprehension of the module content, but only focuses on key concepts and ideas.

Read each question carefully. Select the best answer, even if more than one answer seems possible. When done, click on the "Get Quiz Answers" button. If you do not answer all the questions, you will receive an error message.

Good luck!

1. Why it is important to have a regular inspection process in your school buildings?

2. Engineers and surveyors should provide a visual inspection of the structures every _____.

3. How often should you remove all garbage and debris from storm drains?

4. How often should you check to make sure all electrical pumps are working?

5. Check external ceilings for indications of leaks, and sagging or broken parts every _____.


Have a great day!

Important! You will receive an "error" message unless all questions are answered.