November 28, 2023

How Reactive Maintenance Keeps Learning Environments Safe & Engaging

A Metro Contracting branded van sits outside a school building in the sunshine. The school building is clearly in two different distinctive styles, where the original building was extended.

Keep your school safe and operational by choosing a reactive maintenance provider that's trusted, effective and responsive . From preventing trips and falls, to protecting students from hot water pipes and sharp edges – we foresee the injuries to help you minimise accidents.

Metro have been working with this South London primary school since 2019, providing vital reactive maintenance to help keep the facilities suitable for young children. The school in question occupies a building over 100 years’ old, with over 300 children under its care. The staff of the school clearly work hard to maintain the building, and we’re proud to help.

Solutions you might not realise are a necessity to Facilities Management

From faulty playground equipment to building failures, there’s a surprisingly large number of variables to manage in school buildings at any one time. Young children have notoriously poor coordination and are accident prone – even if they notice a hazard, due to their slower reaction times, they are more likely to be injured by it. Unnoticed hazards, such as uneven flooring or just-out-of-sight sharp corners are therefore even more risky in schools.

When choosing contractors to provide maintenance to your school, it’s important to consider the following:

1. How fast can they respond?

If your contractor is unable to respond ASAP to an issue that is affecting the space your students need to occupy, this can affect their ability to learn.

Metro Contracting guarantee attendance on site within four hours, limiting the amount of time that students are constrained.

2. How will they react to your safeguarding needs?

We’re a family-friendly firm, with good understandings of the safeguarding protocols schools require. For example:

  • Attending out of hours
  • Ensuring no faces are caught in the background of before-and-after photos
  • If attending during the school day, closing off working areas and being escorted by caretakers/teachers.

3. How well will they do the required work?

We’re highly rated by our clients because we provide fuss-free solutions that are fast, and effective. Whether you need a roof quickly repaired to a good standard or a fix that’ll last until you’re ready to undertake larger construction works, we’ll use our expertise to judge and advise you on your needs.

See how we work with this primary school to provide safe learning environments:

External Maintenance Work

Levelling drains

A selection of drains sit flush with the rest of the playground's tarmac

The result of our team's drain levelling work across the school's playground.

Water cannot drain through tarmac. Drain installation across a area of tarmac is therefore recommended to prevent water from rain and snow from pooling. Pooled water on tarmac can cause the surface to become slippery, or over time, causes cracks and degradation.

A selection of drain covers around the school’s large playground had begun to lift up, risking becoming trip hazards. Our team refitted the drain covers, preventing falls and injuries from occurring.

Level drain covers are also an important element of drain efficiency – an uneven drain can cause pooling of water in certain areas, leading to faster degradation of the drain covers and surrounding tarmac.

Cleaning and re-fitting window guards

A short, orange brick building has two windows. The windows have a thick steel mesh fitted over the top.

The newly cleaned and refitted window-guards. These are now located across the school building and help to maintain a clean, safe aesthetic.

Window guards can help protect students from both falling out of windows, and from breaking the windows whilst playing with objects such as balls.

Window guards across the school were rusted and dirty, giving the otherwise pleasant building an unkempt and off-putting aesthetic. Our team removed all the guards, cleaned them and refitted them. The result is a safe, cleaner-looking building.

Guards were also fitted to the gutters to protect school children from anything that might fall from the roof.

Finger Guards for Doors

The front entrance to the school is a blue door. In this image, the door is open and bordered with white finger guards. Red steps lead up to the blue door.

The white finger guards border the blue entrance door for the school, protecting fingers.

This main entrance door is extremely heavy and capable of breaking any fingers that might be trapped in it when closed carelessly. The finger-guard on the left side of the door now protects children’s fingers from being trapped in the door.

Finger guards are particularly important in environments where there are children, such as schools, daycares, or homes with young kids. They provide a physical barrier between the door and the door frame, reducing the risk of accidental injury.

This entrance to the school features a particularly heavy door. By fitting finger guards to the hinge-side of the door, the school helps children remain safe whilst using the steps.

Germ-friendly Water Fountains

The photo collage shows two sets of stainless steel water fountains. All four water fountains are fitted against brick walls, have long taps to allow bottles to access the tap easily, and have round basins so no sharp edges to hurt fingers.

New water fountains were fitted around the playground to help ensure that the school was safe to re-open during the COVID pandemic.

During the COVID-19 Pandemic, a number of changes needed to be made to the school in order to allow a safe reopening for their students. One of the changes made were to the water fountains. The original fountains, whilst fitted with mouth guards, provided too much of a risk of contamination.

These new water fountains, plumbed and fitted by our team, enabled children to use the fountains to refill water bottles.

Internal Maintenance

Window fitting across the grounds

The photo collage shows two pictures side by side. On the left side is a picture of a small room. At the end of this small, narrow room sits a new window. It is single pane to keep in the style of the existing building windows, and features three narrow pains on top of one another. The right side shows a blue internal fire door. Another pane of glass has been fitted within the door. It is a blurred glass with a wooden trim.

New windows were fitted within this storage room (left) and within this internal door (right).

Natural light leads to higher academic performance, so a well-lit and bright school provides an optimal learning environment. Internal windows can maximise the penetration of sunlight into a building, reducing the chances of eye-strain from dark rooms and enabling the school to save on some energy costs.

Additionally, there are a number of other considerations for fitting windows within the schools’ interior, such as safeguarding recommendations and ensuring proper supervision. Our staff have helped transform a number of doors within the school from being windowless, whilst maintaining their status as safe fire doors by fitting them with fire-rated glass.

Retrofitting the windows into existing doors provided a more economic option for the school compared to the cost of sourcing entirely new fire doors with windows.

New Ceiling Tiles in the Bathrooms

This bathroom has white walls and blue cubicle doors. Above the doors, new cieling tiles have been fitted. They are large, white squares.

The bathroom ceiling with its new tiles.

New ceiling tiles were needed in this bathroom after a burst pipe caused the original to fall down.

Our team fixed the pipe, before fitting new ceiling tiles to restore the bathroom back to working order.

Fitting Doors into Frames

This photo collage shows the same door. In the left side, the door is open and pictured from the side, showing where the edge of the door has been filed down. The filed part of the door is unpainted. The right side of the collage shows the blue door shut flush with the frame.

This collage shows the newly mended door open, so the filing work can be seen, and closed, showing how it now fits into the frame.

Overtime, door frames can ‘settle’ as the building around them ages. Eventually, this leads to doors either ‘sticking’ when being opened or closed, or even prevents them from being about to open or close entirely.

Our team worked on a number of doors around the school’s grounds, filing them down to enable them to accommodate the changed doorframes and keep access through the doors safe for students and staff.

Internal Plumbing Fixtures

This photo collage shows two sets of different sinks. The left side of the collage shows white, round, porcelain bathroom sinks set into a blue counter. Red soap dispensers line the walls above the sinks. On the right side, aa stainless steel, long and rectangular sink

Left: Bathroom sinks; Right: A craft room sink, sitting in the hallway.

As well as fixing pipes during emergencies, our team also provides a number of other internal plumbing services to the school – from fitting new sinks, to relocating sinks, to fitting new heating and water pipes.

The sink on the right was also fitted with a protective hand rail, as the steel edges of the sink posed a potential hazard to students.

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Interested in our services?

If you're looking for local, responsive multi-trades people that you can trust in an emergency or for your maintenance needs, enquire today.