Preparing your school, academy or college for the Christmas holiday
As school buildings stand empty over the Christmas period there are a number of steps to ensure that they will be safe and ready for a smooth start to term in the New Year.
To avoid burst pipes:
- Where possible drain down domestic services water pipes, tanks, sprinkler and heating systems if the premises will be empty for extended periods.
- Alternatively keep the heating system on a “frost” setting, which will mean it will fire up automatically during very cold weather.
- Ensure that you have an adequate oil supply to cover Christmas break.
- Ensure all water pipes are properly lagged.
- Protect any external taps and associated pipework from frost.
- Ensure that the location of the water stopcock is known by all who may need to attend the school in the event of a problem.
- During periods of prolonged cold weather ensure that someone visits the school to check the operation of any frost protection systems.
- Top up school vehicles with anti-freeze.
- To avoid flooding:
- Ensure all drains and gutters are free from obstruction.
- To mitigate any potential flood damage, make sure any stored items are kept off the floor if at all possible.
Stay safe in the snow:
- Ensure roof structures are sound and not prone to collapse under heavy snowfall.
- Prevent snow-slides from roofs by checking there is adequate insulation.
- Ensure you have an adequate supply of grit or salt, and that there is equipment and a strategy in place to clear snow and ice from school precincts.
- Check any security lighting and alarm systems are in full working order.
As the cold weather continues after the Christmas break, ensure you have adequate back up heating, with all Portable Appliance Tests fully up-to-date. Check out the previous blog on PAT testing for further information.
With some forward planning and precautions you can relax into a peaceful Christmas and a Happy New Year!