There are a multitude of considerations when you own or maintain a building—how to keep up with repairs; how to ensure you have a stable structure, and how to ensure health and safety on site. You have to factor in staff, visitors, and cleaning or construction contractors as you do so.
So, you ought to consider roof anchor points, sprinkler systems, clear passageways and more. This article will discuss a number of different aspects to think about. And that’s just the start of building safety. Are you up to standard?
There are a number of factors to cover when looking at the walls and systems inside those walls. Sometimes you can’t consider one without the other. So, if you have water leaking somewhere, it may cause mould and damp even structural soundness can be impacted.
Never look at issues in isolation, but look at them holistically as an interconnected, almost living organism.
One of the first items on the checklist is the electrical works. You’ll have to hold periodic inspections to make sure that all electrical points are connected properly. Also check that there are no shorts in any part of the network.
Birds, rats and bats can get into the system at times, often through the roof, and can cause significant damage to the wiring. Rats and mice sometimes gnaw wires, and cause problems down the line, so inspect infrastructure regularly. You certainly don’t want an electrical fire on your hands.
That brings us to a related theme—gas. This is probably the most important system to check and overcheck. Check these aspects:
- Make sure all people in the building know how to use it safely if they have access to any part of it
Faulty gas is one of the most common causes of fires, so this needs priority .
Walls and Doors
Check for structural damage and for rising damp, or overhead leaks. Structural damage can occur during accidents from moving vehicles, objects and people. Get staff to report damage immediately, especially if it’s a load-bearing wall.
Furthermore, rising damp or overhead leaks can lead to mould, and significant health risks for staff. So, make sure you deal with it radically and rapidly, should it occur.
Check pipes and taps for leaks. Fix dripping taps or replace washers where necessary. It can be particularly frustrating to staff and guests if waterworks in the bathrooms aren’t functioning properly. And if toilets aren’t working, there will be a health and safety hazard along with the issue of the smell. Better you take swift action.
The air-conditioning of a building must be kept in good repair. You need to check that it’s functioning well, that the filters are replaced regularly, and that there is no liquid dripping from it. It’s also vital to have professionals check for specific germs in the system on a regular basis.
You’ll want to make sure that your fire-sprinkler connections are working well. Checking them can be a little tricky, so employ professionals if necessary. You must confirm that not even one is blocked or offline.
Your roof needs to be a safe space. Whether sloped or flat, you’ll want a place that provides good security for staff and labourers. It’s also part of how you protect the rest of the building.
Perhaps put in a sturdy roof walkway system, so that relevant parties can walk on your roof and do checks without twisting an ankle or damaging the roof.
Put in some roof anchor points to make sure that window washing, outer-building construction or maintenance can happen in a secure, safe manner.
Safety of Passageways
The passageways of a building are very important. They need to provide safe access for people to pass each other without obstacles. They must also give a clear line of exit in case of fire.
You’ll have to check on a periodic basis. Unfortunately, people do what they shouldn’t, and cause obstruction for what they deem to be a short period of time. However, they may leave obstacles out indefinitely, or it may happen just as an emergency ensues. Rather get staff to help you keep exits clear on a daily basis.
Another point of safety is site access. If your building or site has important documents, products or equipment, you’ll need to limit the number of guests, and make them go through a security check. You don’t want thieves or saboteurs anywhere near your assets.
One option is to acquire a security scanner and make guests go through formal identification. This is a wise investment if your information, products or equipment are particularly sensitive.
In addition, you can consider alarm systems, burglar bars, and other security features. Once installed, must be inspected for faults once in a while and don’t forget to the batteries!
Don’t underestimate the work that goes into owning and maintaining a building well. It’s detailed, demanding, and can be lifesaving if done right. Create a checklist of all that you need to do, and add governmental regulations too. When inspectors come, you’ll be ready, and you’ll keep all people safe, giving you peace of mind.
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