Ways to Protect Your Building Until Next Winter
The dangers that winter pose to your commercial building are over for another year. Frozen pipes, ice dams, and other cold-weather hazards won’t become issues again until the temperatures drop. There are, however, still several areas where your building could be at risk during the non-winter months. Here are some of those areas, along with some ideas of how you can protect your building in spring, summer, and fall.
Prepare for Severe Storms
Spring and summer bring the possibility of severe weather, such as lightning storms, heavy rains, and tornadoes. These storms can be harmful to your employees and customers and can result in catastrophic damage to your building. Protect your building with some or all of these tasks.
- Put in storm windows, storm doors, and other components that protect against glass breakage during storms.
- Test drainage systems to ensure a clear drainage path for rainwater. If you have drainage pumps or similar equipment, have them checked and maintained in the spring.
- Check and maintain generators or other emergency power systems. It is particularly important to do this if your business requires a steady supply of power to sustain operations or keep raw materials and supplies fresh.
- Review storm safety procedures with your employees at least once a year, ensuring they know the location of safety equipment, evacuation points, and safe spots within the building.
Test Fire Alarms and Fire Suppression Systems
Fire alarms are critical safety systems that should be checked regularly to ensure proper operation. If you have a fire suppression system, such as sprinklers or foam systems, they should also be tested and maintained regularly.
- Perform manufacturer-specified tests on fire alarms, in cooperation with your local fire department. Update and upgrade alarms if needed.
- Test fire suppression systems and make sure they meet local building codes and other relevant standards.
- Check hand-held fire extinguishers to ensure they are properly filled and charged, ready for use if needed.
- Review fire evacuation procedures with your employees and conduct a fire drill at least once a year.
Check and Test Burglar Alarms and Video Surveillance Systems
Burglar alarms and video surveillance are also important systems that protect your building and your employees.
- Test alarms according to manufacturer’s instructions.
- Ensure that all cameras in the video surveillance system are working and that all monitoring stations are functional. Replace cameras that aren’t working.
- Consult with your local law enforcement officials or other appropriate agencies to ensure any automatic alarms are working correctly and that notifications are made correctly.
- Review employee safety standards and building security procedures to ensure that your staff knows how to keep themselves safe and protect your building from break-ins.
Review, Revise, and Apply Industry-Specific Protections
If your company has specific procedures, safety precautions, or other protections in place, make sure they are followed and applied according to the standards of your industry. For example, if your business activities involve the handling of hazardous materials or explosives, ensure a constant state of awareness among your employees. Protect your building and your employees health and safety with conscientious adherence to industry-specific safety practices.
Have HVAC Maintenance Performed
Preventive maintenance for your cooling system not only ensures the equipment will operate at its best, it also improves the safety of HVAC system operation.
- Contact your HVAC services professional for a springtime maintenance appointment. Make sure the cooling system is working properly and safely, particularly in terms of electrical systems that could cause fires.
- Check for refrigerant leaks that could leave employees exposed to hazardous materials.
- Take out old, clogged air filters that could cause damage to your cooling system and replace them with new, fresh filters.