Preventative Maintenance Tips for Your Building

By:
Randy Crocker, Principal Owner of Hassle Free Commercial Services, gets questions all the time from clients about their property and what they can do to save money, prevent fires, and keep their building running efficiently – all while keeping their employees or tenants happy. The following is a list of preventative maintenance tips and a building checklist your building maintenance specialist should be following to keep your property fully functioning at all times.

Preventing Electrical Problems
Add up your amps! Most breakers are 20 amp breakers, (if you are not sure what yours are, check with your building maintenance professional) which means add up the amps required for each electrical device you are plugging in and make sure that the total does not exceed 20 amps. The amps used by your devices can usually be found on the side or bottom of the device, or in your owner’s manual. Beware of space heaters, and microwave ovens, they use 14 amps – more than one on a single breaker will blow a fuse!

Fire Prevention
Fires can be avoided by following proper fire safety practices. The best method of fire prevention is the knowledge and elimination of fire hazards.

First, be sure to check your smoke detectors once a month and the batteries at least once a year. Smoke detectors sense abnormal amounts of smoke or invisible combustible gases in the air. Make sure they are installed on every floor, or are up to code per your county and state regulations. Also be sure that your smoke detectors are labeled by the Underwriters Laboratories (UL) or Factory Mutual (FM).

The following Tips should be followed very carefully for fire prevention:

• Keep portable and space heaters at least 3 feet from anything that may burn. Never leave heaters on when you leave.
• If an electrical device begins to smoke or has an usual smell, unplug it immediately and have it repaired.
• Replace frayed or cracked electrical cords and don’t overload extension cords. They should also never be run under rugs.
•Comply with NO Smoking rules at all times. Usually, there are designated safe locations for smokers. Carelessly thrown cigarette butts are common causes of fires.
• Always have and maintain proper fire fighting equipment.
• Never block fire fighting equipment or exit doors.
• Lastly, consult your building maintenance professional or electrician for any changes to your fuse box.

Generator Preventative Maintenance
Keeping the moving parts in your generator is very important. As parts remain motionless, especially in new generators, air can creep into a unit injector solenoid. Emergency Generators should be started up every week for about 5 minutes with transfer load testing every month. Every year a full load test should be completed. A good practice is to schedule this along with elevator testing.

In addition to running the generator on a monthly schedule, you should also perform the following general maintenance inspections and repairs:
•Inspect Radiator fins monthly
•Check antifreeze levels weekly
•Keep block heater plugged in and warm
•At a minimum change fuel filters annually
•Keep an eye out for wet spots around the fittings of the fuel system
•The indicator light should read okay on the battery charger
•Ensure tight, corrosion free connections on the battery and charging systems
•Make sure the engine itself, as well as the engine belts are free of wear and have signs of any leaks
•Check oil levels and change oil and oil filters annually
•Check the engine air filter once for every 100 hours of operation
•Change the Engine Filter at least once per year and that the canister is free of dirt and other debris

Preventative Maintenance Checklist
The following is a list of items that should be checked or performed on a regular basis to keep your building functioning at all times.

• Fire Alarm and Sprinkler System Testing
• Sump Pump – Check Connections, Winding Motors, and Lubrication
• Water Pump – Domestic Water Circulating Pumps checks and lubrication
• Dry Pipes – Air Compressor, Fire Compressor, check for leaks
• Garage Doors and Parking Gates – Lubrication, Adjustments of Beams, Pressure System Testing
• Exhaust, Supply and Return Fans – Motor, Belts and Barometer Testing, Air Flow Testing in Supply and Return Vents
• Elevator – Belt and Pulley Checks and Load Testing
• Winterization of Pipes
• HVAC: coil cleaning, filter replacement, evaporator/condenser changing, belts, line clearing, amp and ohm motor testing, condensate pipe checks, air flow testing, and water flow testing
• Emergency Management Systems Operation and Testing
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