Life Safety Equipment Checkup
Are your fire alarms, carbon monoxide detectors, and AEDs well maintained? Is your first aid kit fully stocked with items that have not reached their expiration date? Your life-saving equipment requires care and maintenance in order to be most effective. Please take time to schedule regular checkups of all of the life-saving equipment in your facility.
AEDs (automated external defibrillators) are life-saving devices, but only if they are properly maintained. AEDs are classified as Class III medical devices and are therefore regulated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The FDA has the authority to issue recalls to correct problems with the product. If an AED is recalled, it is imperative that you follow the recall instructions.
How will you know if your AED is recalled? When you purchase an AED, you should immediately register it with the manufacturer to be notified directly of any recalls. If your AED is a few years old and is not registered, contact the manufacturer ASAP. In addition, the FDA maintains a database of recalls that you can check: https://www.accessdata.fda.gov/scripts/cdrh/cfdocs/cfRES/res.cfm
You want to make sure that your AEDs are ready to assist in an emergency. Have the pads and batteries been replaced before their expiration date? Has the AED been registered with local first responders so that they know the location of the AED in your facility?
Fire/Smoke Alarms and Carbon Monoxide Detectors
Carbon Monoxide detectors must be present in all spaces with a source of combustion and for spaces with forced air heating including all rooms, hallways, and stairwells. Take time to walk through your school/parish property, including all outbuildings, and make note of the areas which need a carbon monoxide detector or alarm. If the building is a residence, such as a rectory or convent, a CO detector should also be placed at the top of each stairway in multistory dwellings.
For all fire alarms and smoke detectors, make sure you have replaced the batteries and that they are tested on a regular basis
First Aid Kits
When a parishioner, religious education student or staff member is injured, having a well-stocked first aid kit on hand is essential. Knowing where it is stored is equally important. Make sure staff and volunteers know its location. Maintaining proper items in the box ensures the most efficient response to accidents. Appoint a staff member to be responsible for the items in the kit. Have the staff member regularly check expiration dates. Replace old batteries. In addition, properly label everything for quick retrieval.
Pretty much everything has an expiration date, and life-saving equipment is no exception. Keep a log of the expiration dates related to your equipment, such as batteries, pads, and the equipment itself. Did you know that fire extinguishers have a shelf life? And did you know that if used beyond their expiration date, AED pads will not adhere as well to the skin? Proper maintenance of life safety equipment is vital to everyone’s safety.