In recent times, I have shared several articles on various aspects of boarding house administration, especially after the release of my book Effective Boarding House Administration in 2021. Today, I'd like to address an issue that is often overlooked but incredibly vital: safety.
Safety, in the context of a boarding house, is not merely limited to preventing accidents; it extends to fostering a secure and comfortable environment for both students and staff. While much emphasis is often laid on academic excellence, emotional well-being, and personal development, ensuring the physical safety of all occupants is paramount. Here are some crucial guidelines:
1. Prohibit Cooking and Use of Candles:
While it's important for students to feel at home in a boarding house, certain activities can pose significant safety risks. Cooking, for instance, especially unsupervised, can lead to accidents such as fires, burns, or even food poisoning. While the aroma of freshly made popcorn or noodles might be tempting, it's essential to lay down clear rules against it.
Similarly, the use of candles, while they may create a serene ambiance, can be a fire hazard. Many institutions now opt for flameless, battery-operated flashlights which offer the same aesthetic appeal without the associated risks.
2. Regular Safety Drills:
Just as schools routinely hold fire drills, boarding houses should also have regular emergency drills. This helps students and staff familiarize themselves with the evacuation routes and procedures, ensuring a quicker response during actual emergencies.
3. 24/7 Security Monitoring:
In our technologically advanced age, it's wise to invest in surveillance cameras and alarm systems. These tools not only deter potential threats but also provide evidence if an incident occurs. Having security personnel on-site can also be invaluable, acting as a visible deterrent to would-be intruders.
4. Safe Storage for Personal Items:
Ensuring students have access to lockers or safes for their valuables gives them peace of mind and reduces the likelihood of theft or misunderstandings among peers.
5. Open Communication Channels:
It's crucial for students to know they can approach the administration with any safety concerns. Holding regular meetings where they can voice their worries or suggestions can foster a safer community atmosphere.
6. Continuous Training for Staff:
Your staff is the first line of defense in ensuring safety. Continuous training, ranging from first aid to conflict resolution, can equip them to handle emergencies and everyday challenges more effectively.
I would like you to always remmeber this: while boarding houses are meant to be a home away from home, the responsibility of ensuring the safety of every resident falls squarely on the administration. So, there is a need to adhere to these guidelines and be proactive about potential risks, so that we can offer students and staff a haven where they can grow, learn, and live without fear.
Stay safe and continue to prioritize the well-being of our future leaders.
At this point, I would like to invite you to join the next training I have on boarding house administration, and it comes up on the 11th and 12th of November. It's an online training, and you can join from any part of the world. Send a message to +234-8035880367 if you'd like to be a part of it.