Safety Tip of the Week

This week Wendy Couture, the district’s safety and risk reduction manager, shares tips about decoration safety in the workplace.

During this time of year decorations can be a very important part of the classroom or office area. Decorations enliven the classroom and serve an instructional purpose. Safety is especially important during this time of year for students, teachers and visitors. Here are some common safety tips for decorating the classroom.

  • Classroom exits should be clear and not blocked by obstructions.
  • Exit signs for emergency window exits should be visible at all times.
  • Use flame retardant decorations whenever possible.
  • Decorative items should not be suspended or hanging from fire sprinkler heads.
  • Decorative or instructional items should not be suspended from classroom ceiling lights.
  • Materials stored on top of shelves or cabinets should not be closer than 18″ to automatic sprinkler heads.
  • Mount decorations within reach of the floor for easy and safe access and to limit the risk of falling.
  • If decorations do need to be mounted higher than standard reaching height remember to use a step stool and not a chair or desk.
  • Never place staples or nails through strings of lights, power cords, or extension cords as it could damage the cord and present a fire hazard. Make sure cords do not dangle from counters and tabletops where they can be pulled or tripped over.
  • Do not overload electrical outlets.
  • Do not use any type of decoration that has an open flame.
  • Make sure that any illuminated items are turned off when you leave your work area so there is no risk of fire breaking out when the building is unattended.

Whether classroom decorations are used to celebrate a holiday, promote a learning concept or showcase an achievement, it is critical to keep safety in mind so the classroom learning environment is enhanced and does not become hazardous.