It’s wintertime, and that means more than warm fires, hot cider, and gift-giving. It’s also a season when your commercial property faces dangers all too common at this time of year. Sadly, winter brings the possibility of freezing pipes that burst, furnace problems that cause fires, robberies by those wanting to steal holiday income, and a host of other issues.
You may not have thought about commercial emergency restoration management before, but now is a great time to do so. Smart property owners set plans in place to prevent disasters from happening. They also create plans to help them act fast should a disaster strike — enabling their property to return to its normal functioning quickly and smoothly.
At Trilink Restoration, we know from firsthand experience of our own how a disaster can turn your property and life upside-down. That’s why we help property owners create a Commercial Emergency Plan to deal with challenges and get back on their feet. To help you ensure you’re ready for all winter can bring, make use of these disaster plan steps to safeguard your commercial property now.
When cold weather arrives, it’s second nature to turn up the heat and forget about it. But after sitting dormant all summer, your heating system may need attention. The last thing you want is for a fire to break out because the furnace is malfunctioning, or because someone left a space heater on all night.
Take these fire prevention steps:
- Furnace/HVAC — Have your commercial heating system professionally inspected and cleaned so it is ready to heat up your commercial space safely.
- Fire alarms — Test to see that they still work. Replace all batteries. Ensure there are adequate alarms to cover areas where fires often break out, such as kitchen areas and laundry rooms.
- Space heaters — Chilly buildings often invite employees to warm up their desk area with a small space heater. If your electrical setup can’t handle space heaters, make sure employees know about it. If using space heaters, use the kind with an automatic shut-off, and keep them a safe distance from anything flammable.
- Chimneys — Many residential complexes offer chimneys as a feature to appeal to tenants. Ensure chimneys and vents are properly cleaned each year to prevent a fire resulting from creosote buildup.
Break-ins and Burglaries
During the holiday season, several factors can combine to lure in thieves. Your commercial property may be closed for holiday breaks. Employees may have time off and not be physically on-site to keep an eye on things. Holiday sales may bring in more money than usual in the cash registers.
Keep thieves at bay and prevent robberies and related assaults with these prevention keys:
- Lighting — With the sun setting earlier, darkness tempts criminals to take advantage. Ensure parking lots, alleys, and other areas on the property are well-lit. Change out dead bulbs in any outdoor lamps.
- Layout — Organize your commercial space so that employees have clear sight lines to all doors and windows. Create barriers so it is difficult for those with harmful intent to get near your employees.
- Security — Use a vetted security company that background checks its employees. Install and maintain security cameras to deter casual theft.
- Buddy system — Don’t permit employees to work solo shifts, especially at night. Have at least two people on-site at all times, and encourage them to walk each other to their cars for added safety.
- Bank deposits — Ensure a safe method for depositing money into the bank, and keep only minimal amounts of cash on the premises.
- Training — Establish clear safety protocols and be sure employees are well-trained in them.
Winter brings dicey weather, including snow, ice, and sleet. And with these slippery conditions, accidents and falls are all too likely, unless you do something to prevent them. No property owner wants to face a lawsuit from careless property maintenance.
Prevent wintertime accidents by using these commercial emergency plan tips:
- Walkways — Ensure that walkways are always clear of ice and snow.
- Driveways and parking lots — Likewise, areas on your property where cars will travel should be shoveled and cleared out to prevent spin-outs.
- Railing — Install railing in areas where the added hand-holds would come in handy.
- Covered entrances — When possible, allow access to the building by a covered area so that if needed, those most likely to fall, such as the elderly, do not have to walk in slick areas.
The dreaded ice storm is common enough that Oklahoma businesses and commercial properties should be adequately prepared for them ahead of time. Even a freak snowstorm or blizzard-level winds can do damage.
Here’s what to do as you plan to protect your property during winter:
- Awareness — Be alert to weather reports, especially when winter storms are expected to strike your area.
- Supplies — Create a stockpile of materials that come in handy should the power go out and employees or guests become stranded on your property.
- First aid kit
- Battery-powered radio
- Ice melt
- Power — Commercial properties should consider installing an adequate electrical generator for emergency power. This comes in handy not just for hospitals, but also businesses that use refrigeration, and other key electrical systems.
- Shelter — It’s wise to establish a designated shelter area for your commercial property. This allows everyone to congregate together, and can provide protection against strong winds, hail, and other weather.
Get a Commercial Emergency Plan Specific to Your Property
The best prevention plan for disaster is the one that is specifically fine-tuned to address the unique needs of your commercial property. Whether you own or manage a retail business, shopping mall, medical facility, multi-unit residential complex, church, tribal property, hotel, conference center, or any other form of commercial property, you need disaster plan steps that work for you.
With our Commercial Emergency Restoration Management Program, you can create a commercial emergency plan designed to address all your concerns, so you can rest easy and be confident that your property will be back to business fast should a winter disaster occur. Start your commercial profile today.