Entrance mats are an excellent way of keeping your premises clean and dry, improving not only the look of the site but also the safety of the people using it. Slip and fall injuries are one of the most common types of accidents in the UK and people tracking in dirt, mud and rainwater can increase the risk – installing a good quality mat at your entrance is a good way of proactively dealing with this.
Schools are high foot traffic areas by their very nature and, with large numbers of people going in and out multiple times a day, there is definitely a need for a good quality entrance mat. Here’s our quick guide to what to look out for when you’re looking for the perfect mat.
Where should you put your mat?
The ideal layout for entrance matting in high footfall areas is actually a three-stage approach. An external mat is used to brush off the bulk of any dirt and debris, an initial mat inside the threshold takes care of the remainder and then a third mat further inside is used to thoroughly remove any remaining moisture. Unfortunately, budget and space issues can often make this approach unfeasible – so the common solution is to get a single particularly versatile and robust mat for inside the threshold.
Make sure you have dedicated mats for each entrance. You can make your matting a little more targeted by having a more heavy-duty version at entrances near fields/play areas and a more subtle model at your primary visitor/staff entrance.
It can also be good practice to keep additional loose-lay mats on site. You can deploy these in particular weather conditions to supplement your standard matting, and then take them away when they are no longer required.
What kind of mat should you get?
For external mats, or for areas that might see a significant amount of mud or leaves (P.E. class access to fields, for example), you’ll want a rubber scraper mat. This kind of mat will scrape the soles of the shoes as people walk over it, taking away huge amounts of dirt and debris. They’re not particularly effective at removing moisture, so bear that in mind when laying them. Rubber mats are usually quite heavy, so they’ll stay in place without a lot of slipping around, and they are also super easy to clean – you can just give it a spray down and it will look as good as new. Lastly, these mats are very long-lasting – you shouldn’t have to replace them for a good number of years.
These mats are absolutely fantastic at absorbing water, with some models capable of holding over six liters per square meter with no impact on usability. The perfect mat for high-volume entrances in schools, these mats will also last for a few years before you need to replace them.
For your main entrance, where you will be greeted not only by staff and students but also by governors, visitors, and parents, a logo mat is a stylish and attractive choice. You can get your school emblem, an inspirational message, or simply the name of your school printed in high resolution, with a huge range of colors and shading options available. You might want to use this mat in conjunction with another mat so that your logo remains clean and fresh throughout the day with a minimum of maintenance.
How big should the mat be?
Your mat should span the full width of your doorway, or more if possible. This will ensure that people coming in have to step on it, reducing the possibility of dirt and moisture making its way around the sides. Pupils cannot be depended upon to walk in single file as adults might be expected to, so the more coverage the better. In terms of the length of the mat, a good rule of thumb is to get a mat that people will take at least one step with each foot on, without breaking their stride.
First Mats started life as safety matting specialists but has since expanded to become a complete industrial and commercial supplies company. The focus of First Mats is to provide safety-focused products that improve the wellbeing of staff through quality-approved products, backed up by extensive knowledge. www.firstmats.co.uk