In some ways, students and staff members at a school can be almost as much at risk of suffering a burn as those who work at a manufacturing facility. Science labs contain Bunsen burners and flammable chemicals, custodial closets contain cleaning materials that could be flammable, and vocational classrooms contain engines, gas cylinders and other items that could be a fire risk.
Feb. 4-10 is National Burn Awareness Week, so CM Regent is sharing some of the most important safety tips for schools.
- Schedule inspections and maintenance – Plan to check your fire alarms, fire extinguishers and fire sprinkler systems on a regular basis. Additionally, some of your systems may be out of date, so you should keep those checks on a regular rotation so you can stay up to code.
- Store flammables appropriately – All flammable liquids or chemicals should be stored in an approved, locked cabinet. This includes materials in a custodian’s closet, a science lab, a vocational classroom, an art room, a wood shop, or any other location within the school that might house dangerous materials.
- Separate oxygen and fuel gas cylinders – These items should be secured with a significant chain, but not stored within 20 feet of each other, unless they are separated by a five-foot-high masonry wall.
- Properly dispose of rags that have encountered flammable liquids – They should be placed in an approved waste can that is emptied at the end of the day. Even when emptied, they may still be flammable, so it is important to follow your vendor’s disposal instructions.
- Make sure all cooking class students and staff members are trained in proper safety guidelines – These include:
- Turning pot or pan handles toward the back of the stove.
- Using microwave-safe cookware in the microwave.
- Staying at the cooking area when they are frying, grilling or broiling food.
- Keeping dry potholders and oven mitts near the oven or stove every time they cook and using long-handed utensils when working with hot food.
- Wearing short or close-fitting sleeves when they are cooking.
- Handle fuel with care – Whether your staff members are working with lawn mowers, snowblowers or other outdoor maintenance equipment, they should only fill the fuel tank when the engine is cool and in an open area outdoors.
For more tips to prevent burns and other injuries at your school, visit our employee safety risk resources.