Survey indicates that schools pay least attention to fire and traffic safety

File photo of a fire safety demo in a school.

File photo of a fire safety demo in a school.   | Photo Credit: E_LakshmiNarayanan

These are the findings of a survey by Nimhans covering 131 schools in Bengaluru and Kolar

Fire and road safety are two areas that school managements pay the least attention to. This was the key finding of a survey of 131 schools in Bengaluru and Kolar. The survey, ‘Advancing Child Safety in India’, was conducted by National Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences (NIMHANS), which partnered with Underwriters Laboratories, a private global safety certification company.

It revealed that fire safety in schools was the most compromised, and the measures were only 20% of the expected level. Most schools did not have a fire safety certificate.

“Evacuation plans, fire logbooks, detectors and alarm were present in less than 8% of the schools,” the survey revealed. However, 94% of the schools surveyed had extinguishers.

Road safety in and around the campus was also neglected with a majority of schools reporting only 20.8% of the expected levels of safety measures. Parameters included the presence of signage alerting motorists of the presence of a school, speed limit display, speed breakers, pothole-free roads, footpaths, supervised lane crossing and designated drop and pick up zones.

Schools were asked to conduct their own assessment of safety measures based on an appraisal tool developed by the research teams.

The overall safety in schools was observed to be 50.8% of expected levels, read the report, which found that physical infrastructure with respect to safety components (classrooms, play areas) was acceptable in a majority of the schools.

The survey also found that 43% of the school buses in the 131 schools had closed circuit television cameras and 58% had a Global Positioning System (GPS).

No health records

However, one worrying trend was that 90% of the schools did not maintain any injury-related health record.

Commenting on the report, Gururaj G., dean of neurosciences and senior professor in the department of epidemiology for Nimhans, said, “Death, hospitalisation and disabilities due to injuries are neglected and a hidden problem in India among children. There is a need for evidence-based policies and programmes that require implementation of preventable and workable solutions.”

He pointed out that child injuries are a growing health concern, and that across India, 60% of all child injury-related deaths occurred among those aged between 15 and 18 years.

“The proportion of child injury deaths is higher in rural areas than in urban areas,” he said. While 41% of fatal injuries occurred on roads, 31% of children died at home.

Road accidents are the most common cause of child injury deaths, followed by burning and drowning. Half of these fatalities can be averted with efficient trauma care systems.

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Printable version | Jul 7, 2020 5:25:09 PM |

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