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3-06: Outdoor safety for physical activity
7-01: Healthy and safe social environment
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American Society of Heating, Refrigeration, and Air-Conditioning Engineers
Children's Environmental Health Network
Provides a resource guide for children's environmental health.
Consumer Product Safety Commission
Safe playground equipment and other products.
Environmental Protection Agency
National Resource Center for Safe Schools
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6-04 - Buildings and grounds: maintenance

Develop and implement comprehensive preventive maintenance procedures to ensure a healthy and safe environment within the building and on school grounds. Include staff training and have procedures that include playgrounds, sports areas, and bathroom facilities.


A comprehensive preventive maintenance program can avert significant and premature deterioration of the building, its systems, and its playgrounds that could lead to compromised health and safety of students and staff.


An environmental safety review of buildings and grounds should be done at least annually. Proper attention to the maintenance of the heating, ventilating, and air-conditioning systems, building envelope (roofs, walls, windows, flooring, subflooring), and housekeeping will improve indoor air quality and energy efficiency and will reduce costs and level of custodial effort to keep the building clean. The maintenance plan should include consideration of weather related problems, such as water on floors in rainy/snowy weather. Maintenance should also include procedures for maintaining safety on school grounds, including playground surfaces and equipment. Have schedules to inspect equipment and repair items not in compliance with US Consumer Product Safety Commission guidelines.

Cover trash containers to keep out rainwater and remove waste on a regular schedule to prevent noxious odors and environmental reservoirs for disease. Open trash containers with decaying organic materials (scraps of food, for example) attract flies and other vermin that can carry bacteria and viruses to food sources and to humans directly. Cockroaches and rodents can also be vectors of disease.

Toilet facilities must be maintained to be both hygienic and safe. Areas of privacy must be provided (e.g., stall doors that are intact and operational). Adequate supplies of soap, toilet tissue, and paper towels must be maintained. Students should not be discouraged from utilizing toilet facilities for reasons of cleanliness or safety.

Require that an experienced maintenance supervisor develop inspection and maintenance procedures, including a detailed preventive maintenance schedule for all equipment, grounds, and facilities. School administrators must be aware of estimated labor-hours to complete all preventive maintenance activities and have a budget to meet those needs.


American Society of Heating, Refrigerating, and Air-Conditioning Engineers. Operation and maintenance management. In: 1999 ASHRAE Handbook: Heating, Ventilating, and Air-Conditioning Applications. Atlanta, GA: American Society of Heating, Refrigerating, and Air-Conditioning Engineers; 1999:37.1-37.5.

American Society of Heating, Refrigerating, and Air-Conditioning Engineers. ASHRAE Standard 62-1999. Ventilation for Acceptable Indoor Air Quality. Atlanta, GA: The Society; 1999.

American Veterinary Medical Association, Task Force on Canine Aggression and Human-Canine Interactions. A community approach to dog bite prevention. J Am Vet Med Assoc. 2001;218:1732-1749.

Americans With Disabilities Act of 1990. Pub L No. 101-336; 1990. Available at:

Bogden JF. Fit, Healthy, and Ready to Learn: A School Health Policy Guide. Part I: Physical Activity, Healthy Eating, and Tobacco Use Prevention. Alexandria, VA: National Association of State Boards of Education; 2000.

Bowers L, Gabbard C. How safe is your playground? Risk factor two: age-appropriate design of safe playgrounds. J Phys Educ Recreation Dance. 2000;71:23-25.

Bruya L. How safe is your playground? Risk factor one: supervision on a safe playground. J Phys Educ Recreation Dance. 2000;71:20-22.

Burgess JL, Kovalchick DF, Lymp JF, Kyes KB, Robertson WO. Health effects of hazardous materials exposures. J Toxicol Clin Toxicol. 2000;38:542-543.

California Electric and Magnetic Fields Program. General Information: Site Planning. Oakland, CA: California Electric and Magnetic Fields Program; 1997-1999.

Center for Effective Collaboration and Practice, American Institutes for Research and National Association for School Psychologists. Safeguarding Our Children: an Action Guide: Implementing Early Warning, Timely Response. Washington, DC: Department of Education, Department of Justice; 2000.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. School health guidelines to prevent unintentional injuries and violence. MMWR Recomm Rep. 2001;50(RR-22):1-73.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Dog-bite-related fatalities-United States, 1995-1996. MMWR. 1997;46:463-467.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Cigarette smoking among high school students-11 States, 1991- 1999. MMWR. 1999;48:686-692.

US Environmental Protection Agency. Mold Remediation in Schools and Commercial Buildings. Washington DC: US Environmental Protection Agency; 2001. Available at:

US Environmental Protection Agency. IAQ Tools for School Kits. Washington, DC: US Environmental Protection Agency; 2000. Available at:

US Environmental Protection Agency. Indoor Air Quality Tools for Schools: Renovation and Repairs Checklist. Washington, DC: US Environmental Protection Agency; 2001. Available at:

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