In light of recent circumstances, many businesses have had to close their doors, but empty properties when not adequately secured or maintained may face issues upon reopening. With correct planning in place prior to reopening, you can ensure that your business property is ready to accommodate, staff, customers and visitors safely once again. Here we will discuss some top considerations when temporarily closing your business.
During a time of extended closure, areas which would ordinarily be subject to planned maintenance and statutory compliance checks, may have lapsed or expired. It’s vital, for ensuring safety and compliance within the law, that all relevant areas are addressed. This can include things such as electrical units, HVAC systems, lifts and escalators, water systems and fire safety equipment.
Having a structured approach such as by utilising property maintenance from MSL Property Care Services, you can be sure that any areas which require planned maintenance will be tracked and reported on during closure, and times can be scheduled speedily upon reopen to ensure relevant compliance checks are made.
Air conditioning and ventilation
Whilst there are no official guidelines which require inspection of air conditioning units, it is good practice to have a regular maintenance system in place, whereby the filters and coils can be cleaned to remove bacteria, and the operation of the unit can be verified.
Air conditioning units which are not checked regularly may be using increased energy to maintain output, which could be costly. It is important to check the air conditioning unit, especially if it has been running at a reduced rate whilst your premises have been closed, to ensure it functions effectively. This is even more prevalent when reopening in warmer months, as the air conditioning unit may see increased usage to provide a comfortable environment.
One of the most important aspects to consider when reopening your facility, is to ensure water systems have been thoroughly checked and cleaned. Legionnaire’s Disease, which can cause serious injury, can occur when water systems are mismanaged or left stagnant for periods of time.
It’s vital to have a risk assessment in place to document water usage and how this has changed during lockdown; here you can document how anyone who is on the property will be protected upon reopening. Employing an expert to take care of water system procedures and check safety for use, can help remobilise water systems and aid in safe reopening of your business. If you are at all unsure, get help from an experienced water treatment advisor, environmental health or public health authorities.
It is of course vital to remain vigilant of government guidelines and respond effectively to help protect any people visiting or working on your premises. The safety of personnel should always be paramount and by reacting swiftly to government guidelines it will aid in an effective return to work and business as usual.