The Situation

White Bear Lake Area Schools is a valued school district serving nearly 9,000 students. The district is a long-time partner of SafetyFirst using our annual playground maintenance services. As a school geared towards creating an engaging and inspiring learning environment, they rely on SafetyFirst to conduct comprehensive playground assessments and maintenance to their 9 playgrounds. 

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 areas that require surface leveling. 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. 

As a part of White Bear Lake Area Schools’ service, SafetyFirst provides free service calls if there is a broken part or safety concern between assessments. Yet, SafetyFirst wanted to make this process of communicating concerns easier for the schools, staff, and parents. So we developed QR codes for repair requests, a technology new to the playground industry, that will streamline playground repairs and improve maintenance documentation. 

White Bear Lake Elementary Schools was excited to receive their custom QR maintenance codes!

The Approach

To improve the maintenance services for White Bear Lake Area Schools’ playgrounds, SafetyFirst provided custom QR barcodes for each of their 9 playgrounds. 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. Once the repair is approved by the school, the SafetyFirst team will promptly respond to the request by fixing the playground equipment, including sourcing the parts for the repair.

To implement the custom QR barcodes, SafetyFirst completes an inventory of each piece of equipment on the playground and creates QR-coded stickers specific to the playground and its equipment. Then, 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.