I was watching a wave of nasty storms race across the Florida coastline past my office this afternoon. The storms tossed debris like dust, ripped siding off a nearby building and lifted up loose shingles off the roof allowing the driving rain to enter. My first thought was for my children who I knew would be getting on the school bus home soon. I truly hoped that the school had done its preventive maintenance and secured the playground equipment as well as anything else that could fly.

Preventive Maintenance

I started thinking (yes there was smoke coming from my ears) what type of school equipment can cause harm if not securely fastened. I also wondered how often these items should be checked to ensure reasonable safety.

“To protect against wind damage without making any structural changes to a building, you can:

Source: FEMA Training Material

School Inspection Checklist

Here is the list I came up with of the top of my head keeping in mind Florida gets many severe wind and lightning storms.

ItemHow often item should be inspected/checked
Debris (tree, trash, garbage)Daily
Playground equipmentWeekly or before every storm if there is warning
RoofsAfter every significant storm or quarterly
Doors (ability to completely close)Monthly
Windows (ability to open and close)Monthly
TreesDead and hanging branches trimmed – monthly
Garbage receptaclesDaily
School caution signsBefore every storm if there is warning
Circuit breakersQuarterly
Fire extinguishersQuarterly or as mandated by State and Local Law
BicyclesBefore every storm
Storm drainsMonthly and after storms.
ElevatorsQuarterly
GuttersQuarterly
Railings and StairwellsMonthly
Emergency Broadcast systemDaily
Standing WaterDuring/after storm
School Bus TiresMonthly

I am sure if I gave it more thought the list would expand. Today, I am hoping school officials thought of these things and have a regularly scheduled inspection and preventive maintenance program in place. What items would add to the list?