The Situation

White Bear Lake Area Schools has been a valued partner of SafetyFirst Playground Maintenance for a long time. SafetyFirst manages all of White Bear Lake Elementary Schools’ nine playgrounds through comprehensive playground maintenance. Annually, a SafetyFirst Certified Playground Safety Inspector (CPSI) will visit each playground and conduct a thorough assessment of the playground’s maintenance needs, including reviewing the equipment to identify any playground parts that are in need of maintenance and surfacing levels.

Based on the assessment, SafetyFirst provides the school a playground cost estimate of repairs, and once approved, the team at SafetyFirst manages every part of the playground maintenance, including sourcing and receiving parts, communicating with manufacturers, and repairing the sites. 

To support the annual maintenance service, SafetyFirst provides free service calls if there is a broken part or safety concern between assessments. To simplify the process of communicating a playground issue, SafetyFirst Playground Maintenance recently developed a new technology that will streamline playground repairs and improve maintenance documentation, which has been implemented at White Bear Lake Elementary Schools.

The Approach

To improve the maintenance services for White Bear Lake Area Schools’ playgrounds, SafetyFirst has developed custom QR barcodes for each playground. The QR codes allow any individual, including parents, staff, and maintenance crew members to quickly report an issue.

To do so, the individual scans the QR code with their smartphone which directs them to a website form to submit the issue, including the option to attach an image. SafetyFirst will receive an immediate notification of the request, as well as the district, to which SafetyFirst is committed to responding with an estimated repair cost within 24 hours. From there, the SafetyFirst team will promptly respond to the request by repairing the part, including sourcing the parts for the repair. 

To implement the playground custom QR barcodes, SafetyFirst completes an inventory of each event on the playground. Then SafetyFirst creates QR coded parts specific to the playground and its equipment. Therefore, when a maintenance request is submitted through the QR codes, the SafetyFirst team understands where the request is coming from and has a list of the playground’s equipment already on file.

The Outcome

The custom QR barcodes streamline communication while providing reliable playground maintenance documentation. White Bear Lake Area Schools no longer need to manage the internal communication process of who should submit a maintenance request, instead, any staff member has immediate access to report a playground concern. This allows SafetyFirst to understand the concern and provide a quick response to the request, providing a repair estimate within 24 hours. Once approved, the repair is often completed within 24 hours based on available parts. If the broken equipment is a unique part, SafetyFirst will manage the communication with the manufacturer to ensure the fix is resolved as soon as possible. 

In addition, the QR codes improve documentation for the schools and the district. The system provides a comprehensive list of playground equipment inventory, when there was a reported issue, when the estimate was received, and when the repairs were completed. It creates a complete maintenance record for each playground which schools rely on for potential liability claims.

SafetyFirst is committed to helping schools maintain their playgrounds for a safe and enjoyable experience for their students, as well as safeguarding the school. SafetyFirst takes the guesswork and extra time out of overseeing playgrounds so the staff can focus on their students. The custom QR codes are the latest example of how SafetyFirst Playground Maintenance is dedicated to ensuring responsive and personalized customer service.

Learn more about our quarterly maintenance services and how our latest technology can improve your playground’s maintenance services and provide thorough documentation.