Owning or running a commercial property ties you to a higher level of responsibility. You immediately become legally liable for the safety of members of the public that visit your premises. Moreover, from a business perspective, it is harder to attract customers if your property is neglected or unsafe.
In light of this, it would be in everyone’s best interest that your building or complex is regularly maintained. Besides, a self-imposed maintenance schedule gives you time to address any issues without staring down inspection deadlines.
So, before the stern unforgiving building inspectors show up, here are some maintenance checks you should run regularly.
According to fire experts, fire extinguishers and the contents inside them do not expire but they can depreciate. As a result, it is not enough to just have them on your premises, they need to be serviced regularly too. Consult your local fire department about scheduling hydrostatic tests for all fire extinguishers in your commercial property. This test will let you know if they are all in working condition or if any of them need adjustments or replacement.
Other fire safety support instruments like fire hoses and smoke detectors should be inspected as well. Fire hoses need to be scanned for tears and holes that would render them ineffective. They should be checked even if they have never been used as they tend to get inadvertently damaged by debris and pests. As for smoke detectors, their vents should always be kept clean and their batteries should be replaced as required.
All these efforts would count for naught if the occupants of the building are not sensitized on how to handle fire incidents. Consider handling fire safety maintenance and running a fire drill or training session on the same day.
Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning Systems
An HVAC system controls both the temperature and the quality of air in a building. Any malfunctions would expose occupants to discomfort and significant health risks. Additionally, if the system is not running optimally, you will be groaning under a mountain of power bills. Suffice to say, you really do not want to play fast and loose with HVAC maintenance.
Removal of dust and debris is the most fundamental part of HVAC care. It should be done at least monthly for outside units as they are exposed to all sorts of contaminants from the environment. Refrigerator lines and thermostat settings should also be checked monthly to ensure they are both running as they should.
You will need an HVAC technician(s) for other maintenance services including:
- Replacement of filters
- Checking the electrical systems
- Inspecting the heating elements
- Inspecting refrigerant elements
- Replacing worn belts
- General clean up of building vents
It is estimated that over 10% of robbery incidents occur in public parking lots. This goes to show that the external security of your property is just as essential as internal security. A perfect balance would be to have both layers set up to complement each other.
A robust CCTV network and a perimeter fence would be a good start to securing your premises. The problem is, cameras often have blind spots which make it easy for perimeter breaches to occur. Without proper upkeep, such lapses could let crimes go on unabated. A security expert could help you address such challenges and advise you on solutions such as motion detectors for said blind spots.
It would be remiss to ignore the unfortunate challenges presented by shooting incidents and terrorism. As part of your security maintenance, make an effort to upgrade your systems to have contingencies and response mechanisms in the event of such tragedies.
Gas And Electrical Maintenance
Most commercial properties are powered by a combination of gas and electrical power. In the absence of these two amenities, most facilities instantly grind to a halt. On the other hand, one small gas leak or electrical fault could raze your entire property to the ground. The stakes are extremely high on both fronts and thus you need to stay on top of any upkeep issues.
Gas lines within your premises should be checked for rust or leaks. In some jurisdictions, some gas pipe materials like copper have also been banned over time. Any of these issues is an undebatable sign that your gas pipes should be replaced immediately.
The technician you bring on board should also advise you on gas flow issues. When the valves in the pipes do not control flow properly, it can become a safety hazard. Consider installing more dependable valves that can handle high pressure like top entry trunnion valves. Aim for a top entry trunnion valve manufacturer that can offer you valves that fit the exact scale of your gas pipes.
It would be of great benefit to have a certified electrician on-site or on call. They would be able to address day to day challenges like electrical faults and inspect crucial systems every week. However, you may need more manpower for a complete diagnostics check of the entire property. Such checks would include:
- Lift systems
- Power backup systems
- Appliance connections and consumption
- The wiring system
Your first round of self-initiated maintenance may feel like paying for a surgery you do not need. Nevertheless, when you notice your property running more effortlessly you will begin to see the benefit of it all. If that does not win you over, consider this; a well-maintained building is valued at almost twice the same value as it would fetch if it were run down.