By Jeff Eriks, Cambridge Companies
November 30, 2018
What type of maintenance checks can you make on your facility on a monthly/annual basis? Should you do a thorough one after a certain amount of time?
Every facility owner has different requirements to keep in mind from a review and inspection perspective. These actions are important to protecting facilities and helping keep your workforce safe. Many of these items can help to catch maintenance items that are relatively cheap to address, but can become very costly if left un-addressed. In this article we will cover a few of the key items to keep in mind, no matter what kind of facility you own.
The life/safety systems are the most important systems within a building since they help keep employees safe during their time onsite. This includes:
- Fire Sprinkler Systems must be inspected every year by a certified professional to verify that they are functioning properly. In dry-pipe systems, the drip legs need to be drained at least monthly.
- Strobe Lights and Exit Signage should be tested each year to ensure that they are working properly as well.
- Emergency Lighting, Night Lights and Such should be checked each year. Bulbs need to be replaced as well as batteries. Some facilities have gas detection for various sources such as methane, carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide, natural gas and many other items based on use of the facility. These sensors should be tested to ensure that they are functioning properly.
- Fire Alarm Systems are a key component to most buildings and should be checked annually. This system is typically tied into the local fire department and notifies them of any issues. Each sensor should be checked on an annual basis and any faulty ones should be replaced.
- Elevator Inspections should be done annually. Most states require annual inspection and certifications kept on file within the building itself.
Other life/safety systems to be maintained and inspected on a regular basis are eye wash units, strobes, backup lights, gas detection, etc.
Heating and Cooling Systems
There are several different types of systems on the market and all have their own maintenance and upkeep requirements. I recommend that a local HVAC professional is retained to do semi-annual maintenance on all units, which would include changing filters, checking Freon, checking gas connections, power connections, overall service maintenance and all the items that the manufacturer recommends. Most owners do not have someone onsite that is able to do all of the maintenance required to prolong the useful life of the equipment. As part of the HVAC system, the condensate lines should be checked because if they get clogged it will cause performance issues for the furnace and even cause it to shut down and not function at all.
Ventilation systems are important for buildings to be able to “breathe” and the HVAC systems to function properly. Each building type varies on how these are incorporated into the overall design, but as part of the heating and cooling annual maintenance, I recommend that you have a firm also check your ventilation systems to ensure that they are functioning as they are supposed to. When the entire system is functioning properly, you can also expect it to run more efficiently.