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Winter Weather T


British Educational Suppliers Association (BESA)


he winters of 2009/10 and 2010/11 were among the harshest witnessed in decades. While freezing weather can increase the risk of claims and larger losses for your school, in most cases only minor damage will occur. Yet, even lesser incidents can interrupt the running of a school and cause disruption to learning.


However, there are a number of simple and practical steps that schools can take to minimise or mitigate the impact of damage caused by inclement winter conditions.


Paul Tombs, Head of Education at Zurich Municipal reminds school managers how to avoid the problem this winter.


Winter Precautions to reduce the risk of property damage The following is a checklist of some simple risk management measures schools can take to help prevent damage and any associated costs from winter.


• Heating systems, particularly boilers, should be inspected and maintained under a full maintenance contract


• Frost thermostats should be fitted to ensure that boilers and heating systems automatically come on in cold periods


• Heating systems should be left on to ensure the ambient temperature of the building is high enough to prevent the possibility of water pipes freezing


• Inspections should be made to ensure that pipes and water tanks are adequately lagged. Particular attention should be given to roof spaces and areas where pipework could be exposed to low temperatures


• Roof spaces should be inspected to ensure insulation materials are in good condition and correctly installed


• Ensure that automatic sprinkler systems are fully maintained and that alternate systems are switched to air during winter months


• Ensure that heating is provided in the sprinkler valve room • All water pipes, tanks and heating systems in unoccupied buildings should be drained and water supplies disconnected. Regular inspections should also be made to ensure the buildings are in good order


• Any external water taps should be protected with insulation to protect them from frost


• Ensure plans of the building which highlight the location of stopcocks should be available, so water can be quickly turned off in an emergency


• Implement maintenance contracts to ensure that gutters are cleared of fallen leaves and debris. This will reduce the risk of blockages and subsequent overflowing of water into a building


• Roofs, ridge tiles and chimneys should be inspected to ensure they are in a good state of repair to withstand the rain, snow and high winds of winter.


uTo receive Zurich Municipal’s winter weather risk management guide please email info@zurichmunicipal.co.uk


BESA launches new, ‘support for all’ website www.besa.org.uk


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he British Educational Suppliers Association (BESA) association has launched its new, comprehensive website.


Within the education sector, BESA is the conduit between schools, suppliers and the government. To mirror this tripartite supporting role the new website offers information, guidance and advice to companies, educators and parents, ranging from information on suppliers and resources to information on the implication of government policy announcements for both schools and suppliers. The BESA member area of the site provides information on new business opportunities, tenders, research findings, sector awards, daily sector news feeds and a broad range of other services. The member section of the new site is also linked to a BESA member LinkedIn page where members can hold closed conversations sharing ideas and opportunities in order to help drive innovation.


For schools and parents, the site offers information on BESA member suppliers who adhere to the code of good business practice which ensures that resources are fit for purpose, along with advice on getting the most from investment in educational products and services. The site also offers access to the work of BESA’s Special Interest Groups, sector news and a link to the new BESA Facebook page where they can communicate with other schools to share best practice ideas or potentially form purchasing consortia to make the most of school budgets.


As the sector’s trade association our role is to support both the suppliers and schools. It is therefore vital that our website reflects this all encompassing service. The more we can help suppliers provide high quality products and services that reflect the needs of schools the better we support the optimisation of school’s budgets and the improvement of standards within the sector.


British Educational Suppliers Association (BESA) Tel: +44 (0) 20 7537 4997 Fax: +44 (0) 20 7537 4846 Web: www.besa.org.uk www.besa.org.uk/twitter


November 2011 www.education-today.co.uk 5


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