As a commercial building owner or administrator, you have a lot on your plate. From making sure the utilities are paid to keeping the grounds in tip-top shape, there’s always something that needs your attention. However, one of the most important things you need to focus on is the safety of your tenants, employees, and visitors.
While you may have a few safety measures in place already, there are some that you might be underestimating. Here are some safety measures commercial building owners tend to underestimate and why they’re so important.
1. HVAC Maintenance
The HVAC system in your commercial building plays a big role in indoor air quality (IAQ). If it’s not properly maintained, it can spread harmful contaminants like mould, bacteria, and viruses throughout the building, putting everyone at risk. Furthermore, poor IAQ can lead to health problems like respiratory infections, headaches, fatigue, and dizziness.
It’s a critical safety measure that commercial building owners often tend to underestimate. If not properly maintained, the HVAC system can be a source of potential hazards, such as carbon monoxide leaks and electrical fires. That’s why it’s so important to have a qualified technician perform regular maintenance on the HVAC system. A technician can identify and repair potential problems before they turn into serious hazards. A technician can also perform routine cleaning and calibration of the HVAC system to ensure it is operating at peak efficiency.
To avoid these problems, make sure you also have a preventive maintenance plan in place for your HVAC system. This plan should include regular filter changes as well as annual check-ups by a professional.
2. Building Inspections
Any commercial building owner understands the importance of safety. Many potential hazards can pose a threat to occupants, and it is crucial to take measures to mitigate these risks. One safety measure that is often overlooked is building and pest inspection.
While conducting regular inspections may seem like a nuisance, it can help to prevent several serious problems. For example, pest infestations can cause structural damage to buildings, and they can also be responsible for the spread of dangerous diseases. Regular inspections can help to identify these problems early on before they have a chance to cause serious harm.
By checking for things like structural damage, electrical hazards, and gas leaks, inspectors can help to prevent accidents and fires. Also, pest inspections can help to identify infestations before they have a chance to do serious damage and help to ensure that fire safety systems are in good working order. Regular inspections can also help to identify potential problems early when they are still relatively easy and inexpensive to fix.
3. Building Paint Maintenance
Most commercial building owners understand the importance of maintaining their property. After all, a well-maintained building is more likely to attract tenants and customers, and it can also help to boost property values. However, there is one type of maintenance that is often overlooked: paint maintenance.
Many building owners assume that as long as the paint is not peeling or chipping, it does not need to be replaced. However, this is not the case. Over time, paint can become faded and dull, making it more difficult to see potential hazards. In addition, chipped or peeling paint can create sharp edges that can lead to injuries. Because of that, it is important to regularly inspect paintwork and touch up any areas that are starting to show wear and tear.
In cases where the paint is already peeling and chipping, repainting becomes the priority. A fresh coat of paint can do wonders for the appearance of a building, but it can also help to protect the structure from the elements. Over time, sunlight and moisture can cause paint to fade and peel, leaving the underlying wood or metal vulnerable to damage. Regular painting can help to extend the life of a building and prevent costly repairs. Repainting can also be a critical safety measure. A properly maintained paint job can help to prevent slips and falls, and it can also make it easier to spot potential hazards.
4. Electrical Safety
According to the National Fire Protection Association, electrical fires account for an estimated average of 4,000 structure fires in commercial and office properties each year. These fires cause an estimated $79 million in direct property damage annually. While the cost of damage from electrical fires is significant, the human cost is even greater. Each year, electrical fires claim the lives of approximately 280 people and injure 1,000 more.
While the dangers of electrical fires are well-documented, many commercial property owners fail to take adequate precautions to protect their businesses. One of the most effective ways to prevent electrical fires is to have a qualified electrician inspect your property’s electrical system regularly. An electrician can identify potential hazards and make corrections that can help keep your business safe.
In addition to electrician inspections, you should also make sure all of your tenants and employees know how to safely use any electrical appliances in the building—such as coffee makers and microwaves—and know what to do in case of an electrical emergency. All building employees should be trained on proper fire safety procedures, including how to use fire extinguishers and evacuate the premises safely in the event of a fire.
5. Emergency Plans
You can never be too prepared for an emergency. That’s why it’s so important to have an emergency plan in place for your commercial building. This plan should detail what everyone should do in case of fire, severe weather, or another type of crisis. It should also include evacuation routes and a designated meet-up spot for tenants and employees who are unable to leave the building immediately.
Make sure all tenants and employees are aware of the emergency plan and know how to follow it if necessary. You should also conduct regular drills so that everyone knows what to do and where to go if an emergency does occur.
As a commercial building owner or administrator, you must focus on the safety of your tenants, employees, and visitors by having preventive measures in place. This includes HVAC maintenance plans, building inspections, paint maintenance, annual electrical inspections, and emergency plans. By taking these measures seriously, you can help create a safe environment for everyone in your commercial space.