Preventative Measures to Make Your Facility Safer for Tenants

Running a business includes a lot more than high sales and customer traffic. It’s important for business owners and facility managers to maintain a well-run store too. An essential part of that equation is the safety and security of the establishment. Following are a few ways you can make your facility safer and keep employees and patrons out of harm’s way.

Security System

All business and facilities should have a security system installed into their establishment. Alarm systems, surveillance cameras, and individual door alarms are all a good idea. In today’s technologically-advanced environment, security features are easy to come by and can prevent the risk of crime in your store.

Preventative Maintenance

Preventative maintenance is one of the most important ways to keep a facility, and its tenants, safe. This solution allows you to perform regularly scheduled maintenance to keep all aspects of the building in tip-top shape and working at peak performance. Repairing cracks in concrete, removing overgrown landscaping and fixing leaks can all help limit potential hazards. Preventative maintenance also needs to be completed on equipment and facility systems. Whether it is appliances, air conditioning units or heavy duty machinery, having these items regularly serviced can prevent breakdowns and injuries later on.   

Safe Standards

There are many safety standards in place that need to be followed in order to protect your company’s employees and tenants. A lot of these procedures can be found through the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) website. Examples include wearing proper safety gear, marking wet floors with caution signs and proper ladder safety. It’s important to not only read the various safety manuals put forth by OSHA, by train your employees and managers accordingly. Following this practices will ensure you have a safe workplace and a sound business.

Overall, it’s important to maintain a safe environment for employees and tenants. In addition to adhering to safe practices, preventative maintenance is also an excellent way to keep your workplace safe.

Things to Consider When Installing a New Air Conditioner

With the summer heat already here, your company’s air conditioning unit is the crown jewel of the facility. You’ll want to keep your customers and employees comfy all summer long. So when it comes to installing a new Heating Ventilation and Air Conditioning (HVAC) unit, you want to make sure it’s done right the first time. Here a few things to consider when installing a new unit.

Install the Right Sized HVAC Unit

Simply installing a large air conditioner doesn’t mean you will have a more frigid space. In fact, an inappropriately sized air conditioner can be less effective and waste more energy (and money). In order to help you with your sizing needs, you can visit the Energy Star website to figure out the perfect sized air conditioner for your business or facility.

Preventative Maintenance Plan

When you’re investing in a new air conditioning unit, you’ll want to make sure you keep it working efficiently. Not only will this maintain your system’s peak performance, it will also save you money. It’s important to find a preventative maintenance plan to provide regular inspections, cleanings, and filter changes.

Efficiency is Key

More efficiency means more money in the bank. The Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio (SEER) is the unit of measure that determines air conditioning and heat pump cooling efficiency. Today, the minimum SEER a unit can have is 13. So, when looking to install a new air conditioning unit, look for one with a SEER of 13 or higher. This will ensure you get the coolest air for your money.

Upgrading

It’s silly to assume that you should get the same size air conditioning unit when you are in the market to replace your company’s system. If you have made changes in your facility in order to increase energy efficiency, you might be able to continue your savings with a small HVAC unit. These upgrades include installing energy efficient windows, adding extra insulation or relying on ceiling fans, among others. Be sure to talk to your facility manager or technician to find out the best plan for your business.

These are all things to consider when installing a new air conditioning unit. With these helping tips in mind, you’ll be sure to find the perfect unit for your company.

Rebates and Incentive Programs for Green Facilities Management

“Going green” is a popular trend in facilities management that involves utilizing equipment and better practices to use less energy and make the facility more environmentally friendly. However, you may think these enhancements are too expensive. But, these upgrades can actually save you money. Not only can they help you cut costs on electricity bills, going green can put cash in your pocket through various rebates and incentive programs.

When planning to upgrade your energy or water systems, companies often overlook a major resource— efficiency rebates. There a variety of different incentive programs. Some ask you to install certain products into your workplace and get money back. Others reward you for how much energy savings are achieved.

In addition, many states offer tax incentives for cutting your company’s energy costs. It is recommended that you check with your energy provider for information on these programs. They typically know all about the tax breaks that might be available to your company. Agencies including the U. S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), U.S Green Building Council, and Green Shield can also offer you more information. Tax incentives are available by implementing energy efficient lighting, upgrading Heating Ventilation and Air Conditioning (HVAC) units, and improving building exteriors.

When it comes to helping the environment and saving money, setting up your facility to be efficient and eco-friendly makes sense. With these programs at your fingertips, efficient upgrades become more palatable to even the most money-saving facilities manager. Use these helpful tips to go green with ease.

Prevent Facilities Flooding During Florida’s Hurricane Season

Every year, Florida is susceptible to hurricanes. The Atlantic hurricane season starts on June 1 and continues through November, bringing the risk of winds, rain and flooding. Hurricane winds can certainly wreak havoc, but the impact from water intrusion can be particularly devastating. Still, you can take measures ahead of time to lessen the impact of flooding.

Fix foundations. If your facility has a leaky foundation with cracks, it will be important to fix them before a major storm. These cracks, even if they are small, can allow flood waters to penetrate the building. Even if flood waters don’t overflow a building, mold can grow where the flood waters did go.

Buy backflow valves. If your sewer system floods, you don’t want backed up sewage and flood water overflowing your toilets. By installing backflow or gate valves on your pipes, you can prevent this from happening.

Clean your gutters. It’s very easy for rain gutters to get clogged with debris from trees and leaves. These blockages can prevent the flow of water and allow excess water to get underneath your shingles and sheathing. Making sure your gutters are clear, especially before hurricane season is a good idea.  

Create flood barriers. It’s important to keep water from entering the facility through windows and doors. Depending on the elevation of your building, you might consider installing flood barriers. In the event of a potential hurricane, it can be a good idea to install flood skirts and use sandbags to block entry points along windows and doors.

Raise machinery. To prevent equipment damage, place machinery, furniture and other items on pallets to get them off the ground to make sure they are too high for flood waters to reach.

It’s important to protect your company’s bottom line from water intrusion during a storm, which requires preventative measures. To help your business remain open, or to quickly re-open after severe weather, follow these helpful tips.

Avoid Workplace Injuries with These Preventative Maintenance Tips

Every company wants to create a safe and efficient workplace for all employees, keeping workplace injuries to a minimum. While accidents do happen, many on-the-job injuries are preventable. In addition to proper training, workplace injuries can often be avoided by ensuring your company has correct preventative maintenance. Here are a few tips to help your business stay injury-free.

Equipment – Many workplace injuries are caused by mishaps with the equipment that employees use. This is especially true in more labor-intensive professions, such as construction, manufacturing, and heavy industry. Although teaching proper handling protocol for these machines is important, making sure equipment is working properly is just as important. If the machinery breaks down or built in safety mechanisms fail, then the risk of injury increases. By having regular preventative maintenance completed on equipment, machines will be properly repaired before there is ever a breakdown. These regular checkups will also cut down on repair costs.

Floors – A lot of workplace injuries result from slips, trips, and falls. There are several measures that can be taken to reduce the risk employees face when it comes to these accidents. Conditions that tend to increase these injuries are spills on the floor, broken or cracked flooring materials and cluttered walkways. All of these issues can be easily prevented.

Apparel – Making sure your employees are dressed properly can also reduce on-the-job injuries. For example, for heavy-lifting jobs, it’s important for workers to wear steel toe boots with lots of ankle support. Depending on the profession you are in, protective eyewear, gloves, closed toed shoes and other appropriate safety gear is an easy way to prevent injury.

Cars – In many professions, employees are expected to drive on the job. It is important that company vehicles are in their safest condition when employees are operating them. Performing all preventative maintenance on the car is a great way to reduce injury risks. If driving is a major part of the job, having employees participate in regular eye exams can also be a good preventative measure.

With these helpful tips, you’ll be able to take preventative steps to minimize workplace injuries.  

Tips to Help You Prepare for Inspections

Business inspections are completed to ensure the workplace is safe for customers and employees. But for management teams and business owners, building inspections can create a lot of anxiety. By being prepared for these inspections, you can reduce that anxiety and pass the inspections with flying colors.

Roof: One of the first things building inspectors check is the roof. It’s important to maintain your roof and replace it when necessary. Don’t mess around with any leaks or other damages you find. You’ll want to get those fixed right away. Roof issues can be a major hazard to employees and customers and can hurt your business.

Electric: Exposed and faulty wiring can lead to fire hazards and electrical shocks. An inspector will have a field day with your property if you have electric issues.

Plumbing: Leaky pipes or malfunctioning toilets can also be a major red flag to inspectors. These issues can also lead to water damage to the building. You’ll want to ensure you have plumbing issues fixed before an inspector arrives.

Fire Alarms: In a public building, fire safety will also be an important item for inspectors. Make sure all smoke detectors, fire extinguishers, fire alarms and exit signs are in working order.

Kitchen: When it comes to restaurants, kitchen inspections are extremely important. You’ll want to make sure you are meeting all sanitation codes and operating the kitchen as its intended. Take extra precautions an ensure everything is clean and properly functioning. By performing regular, scheduled maintenance on all equipment, and maintaining proper cooking and cleanliness techniques, you can be sure that they are in perfect working order for an inspector.

Employees: You will also want to ensure your employees are following all regulations and rules. This is especially important in restaurant settings.

Inspections can be stressful, but with these tips, your building or facility will be sure to pass.

Preparing for Natural Disasters in Your Business Plan

When natural disaster strikes, everyone and everything is affected – including businesses. After a disaster, companies can face a lot of downtime while facilities are repaired and equipment is replaced – which obviously hurts your bottom line. To lessen the impact of a disaster, you should prepare your facility ahead of time, by creating a disaster preparedness plan.

A disaster preparedness plan is a comprehensive document that incorporates the needs of all departments and outlines the steps needed to manage a disaster. A strong disaster plan will help you to prioritize tasks and roles. When a crisis hits, you may not have any warning. Regardless, if your company has an effective plan in place and your staff is knowledgeable about the plan’s procedures, you will be able to respond to the disaster faster and more effectively.

A company can also prevent damages by preparing their facility for a storm. It’s very important to make sure your buildings are up to code with local authorities. Disaster mitigation can include bolting tall bookcases or display cases to wall studs to keep items from falling and breaking during high winds. Protect breakable objects by securing them to a stand or shelf using hook-and-loop fasteners. Be sure to install latches to keep drawers and cabinets from flying open. These preparations will help protect the interior of your facility.

Precautions can be taken to protect the exterior of your business too. In the event of a major storm, install closable shutters to protect windows from damage caused by debris blown by a hurricane, tornado or severe storm. Use plumber’s tape to wrap around a hot water heater to secure it to wall studs. It is also a good idea to prepare custom cut plywood to cover doors and windows before the storm arrives.

It is always a good idea to have a plan in place to mitigate the damages that can be inflicted to your business following a natural disaster. With these preparation tips, you’ll be able to minimize the impact a storm can have on your facility.

Green Certifications for Facilities Managers

When you flip through any facility maintenance magazine, every glossy page boasts eco-friendly and sustainable solutions. Manufacturers compete with environmental claims and it can be hard to sift through what products really do help Mother Nature. As a business owner or facility manager, it’s important to understand how products can impact the environment. Here are a few ways to make sure you are doing your part.

Look for green certifications. To help you weed through all of the sustainable claims, trade organizations, government agencies and businesses created green standards. These certifications measure the environmental impact of every product, such as the percent of recycled materials used or the number of organic compounds that result from use. These certifications help to highlight equipment that is more energy efficient and products that expend less energy.

What are some practical ways for a facility to incorporate green certifications? One of the easiest solutions is to install light-emitting diode (LED) bulbs and compact fluorescent lamp (CFL) bulbs in your facility. Energy Star appliances are also a well-known way to help your business go green. The Energy Star certification measures the energy performance of many building products and is a great standard to implement in your company. WaterSense is another green standard that ensures bathrooms consumer less water. These are just a few of the green certifications that exist, there are dozens more that you can include within your business.

It is important to remember that in addition to doing your part to help the environment, making the switch to environmentally friendly certified products can also help your company save money. By using less energy and conserving more water, your power bills will see a decrease. These certified products appliances can help you go green while saving some green too.

What is an Integrated Workplace Management System?

 

If you’ve been working in any kind of facility management position, then you’ve probably heard the term integrated workplace management systems (IWMS). What is this system and how can it benefit you? Keep reading to find out more.

IWMS is a type of software that helps organizations and businesses of all sizes make the most of their available resources. Essentially, it is an organizational infrastructure that helps you effectively manage assets, track projects, and schedule maintenance all in one place. An organization looking for more efficiency, flexibility, and customer satisfaction can benefit greatly from IWMS.

There are numerous different kinds of integrated workplace management systems and many incorporate different functions in order to present a way to manage a company’s resources without having to install multiple software platforms. One common feature these systems allow for is a real estate and lease management. The system can be used to keep track of all property the business owns from purchase to disposal, including tax and lease information, and more.

These all-encompassing systems also help with facility and maintenance management. Individuals can manage the use of facility space and schedule employees within buildings. This application can also be used to schedule preventative maintenance appointments, send out work orders, and manage machinery. A system with these types of capabilities is excellent for ensuring that the facility is running as smoothly as possible.

This integrated system can also track a company’s environmental impact. By allowing a company to measure its energy expenditures, the business should be able to identify where there is energy waste. This not only helps notify the manager where to cut back to save on power bills, but it also helps the environment.

An integrated workplace management system is a vital tool for a facility manager or someone who takes care of company locations and assets. These systems help to maximize the efficiency of resources in a central location and can offer a list of solutions for a business.

Things That Will Improve Your Business’ Visitor Experience

Despite the old adage, many consumers do indeed judge a book by its cover. So what does this mean for improving the visitor experience for your business? It means you need to maximize each customer and prospective client’s first impressions and overall experience. This should lead to greater customer satisfaction, and increase the chances of them returning and spreading the word to others. Here are a few tips to make sure your company makes a great first impression:

Landscaping

Commercial landscaping can make a huge difference in the curb appeal of a property or facility. Your building’s landscaping is one of the first things a potential customer will see when walking up to your establishment. Overgrown bushes and wrangled weeds aren’t very inviting. It’s important to invest in simple and sophisticated shrubbery for your store front.

Exterior Maintenance

In addition to landscaping, having a pristine exterior is also important for making a positive impact on potential customers. Clients walking by an establishment will base a large amount of their perceptions of the business on the appearance of the facility. Since, the exterior is the first thing a consumer sees, strong curb appeal can help coax customers to step into your establishment. Hiring a facility maintenance company to power wash the building, fertilize the sod and replacing lighting when necessary can certainly help. In order to improve your company’s visitor experience, you want to keep the exterior of your facility looking its best.

Interior Maintenance

Just like you should maintain the exterior of your building, it is also important to take care of the interior. Just because you got the potential customers through the front door doesn’t mean they will stay in your store. The cleanliness you put forth on the exterior should also carry into the interior of your building. In addition to a spotless store, you will want to make sure to have an efficient air conditioning system and sanitary restrooms to ensure your customers are comfortable. You want to create an environment where your patrons are content.

With these helpful tips, you’ll be sure to improve your customers’ experience in your store.