Education Ministry tightens ban on incense burners in schools


Saudi Gazette report

DAMMAM — In follow-up to a decision by the minister of education and based on a previous directive on safety and security in schools, the directorates of education in all regions of the Kingdom have tightened the ban on the use of all kinds of incense burners on school premises, Al-Hayat newspaper reported.

Incense burners were the source of several school fires in the past.

The Ministry of Education stressed the need to adhere to all safety guidelines by school administrations in order to create a safe environment free of hazards and to protect the health and lives of students and employees of educational institutions.

According to a copy of the safety directive obtained by Al-Hayat, education directorates are supposed to assign safety officers in all education offices to carry out security and safety tasks and to coordinate with the school administrations on the matter.

It has been noted that there are schools that did not comply with the instructions of the safety committee, says the directive.

The tasks of the committee include developing evacuation plans and training students and employees at least twice during a semester.

Schools should not keep the emergency exits locked for any reason and any obstacles before them must be removed. There should be signs

that lead the students and staff to emergency exits.

Flammable materials such as fabrics and curtains must not be hung in the corridors, classrooms and laboratories. Fire extinguishers must be periodically checked and kept in the places assigned for them. Students must follow the instructions and are responsible for keeping intact any equipment related to security and safety.

The ministry asked all school administrations not to use gas cylinders or small ovens inside school buildings. The ovens must be kept in designated places after ensuring all safety precautions including fire alarms, smoke detectors and fire boxes are up to date.

Maintenance requests must be submitted to the security department in an approved safety examination form. In case of no response to the requests, the respective Department of Education should be informed.

The ministry stressed that all students and school staff must leave school buildings at the end of official work hours. Those who are required to stay behind for any reason should do so after taking full responsibility of the building.

The ministry prohibited taking students on trips to dangerous places or places that may be a source of potential danger.

The school officials are required to promptly inform the fire and safety directorate in case of fires or other incidents of an emergency nature occurring on the premises.

The security and safety guidelines call for checking all power sockets and switches, and informing the Civil Defense, the Red Crescent and the Electricity Company in case of any hazards.

The school administrations should not use electric lines that are not capable of carrying the power load for operating equipment. The safety committee must conduct supervisory visits to schools to create awareness on first aid and evacuation process in the event of security issues, the directive said.