Business and commercial property owners are often tasked with having to wear a lot of hats at one time. The responsibilities that come with these important buildings can be just as staggering as the operational costs. Sometimes it’s all too easy to take your eye off of the things that don’t need your daily attention like climate control systems, overhead lighting, and emergency lights.
Unfortunately, these things too need at least some level of routine inspection and maintenance to catch a small problem before it turns into a major disaster. Of course, electrical equipment that does breakdown or operates inefficiently tends to strike in the middle of a problem when you need them most!
It’s also easy to dismiss the need for routine electrical maintenance if it’s far from you or your building manager’s area of expertise. Fortunately, professional inspection and maintenance services are very inexpensive. Especially when you compare them to the cost of repairing or replacing malfunctioning electrical equipment.
At the same time, commercial property owners also need to account for things like liability and safety. Settlement and legal costs connected to a serious electrical mishap or electric fire that damages someone’s personal property can be exorbitantly high!
Electric Equipment Maintenance May Be Required By The Local Fire Code
Depending on the type of machinery and equipment you have in your building, there may be fire code ordinances in place that require a professional inspection. If the fire marshal or other inspectors visit your commercial property and they find a violation, you could be subject to significant fines, or a potential shut down of normal operations.
Even something as simple as a malfunctioning emergency exit sign could be prohibitively expensive. Of course, some serious violations can also impact the cost of your liability insurance premiums.
Routine Inspection And Maintenance Of Machinery Saves Downtime Losses
If your building or commercial property is involved in manufacturing or you rely on complex machinery to maintain the smooth flow of daily operations, even the smallest malfunction of one thing can lead to a total halt in production. Scheduling routine inspections and professional maintenance is the first line in preventing massive losses due to downtime.
It’s also worth noting that having professionals routinely service your machines can often save you time should an unforeseen break down occur. Having professionals that are already familiar with the workings of your operation speeds the repair and restoration process. This could be something as complicated as a malfunctioning piece of equipment to something as essential as the building’s climate control system.
What Services Are Included In A Routine Maintenance Plan?
Right off the bat the characteristics and equipment that your particular property uses will influence the level of inspection or maintenance required. In general, the term “Commercial Electrical Maintenance” encompasses a broad range of services.
This starts with the important basics like
- Indoor lighting and emergency exit lights
- Indoor emergency lighting
- Exterior lighting and exterior security lights
- Exterior and interior signage
- A basic wiring inspection
- Electric outlet and fixtures
- Maintaining and performing any necessary upgrades or expansion of breaker panels
Throughout the course of a single inspection, basic procedures may need to be performed to make sure that the entire property is compliant will all local, state and federal safety codes. The documentation provided afterward can also be beneficial for your insurance provider. Carriers who know that buildings are being properly and professionally maintained are less likely to increase liability premium insurance costs.
If a problem area is detected during the inspection phase a trained and licensed professional can supply you or your building manager with a recommendation for addressing it in a timely manner.
This might include things such as:
- Basic cleaning to remove dust and other contaminants from sensitive equipment
- Replacing faulting wiring or repairing faulty connections
- Optimizing the function of equipment and machinery
- Replacing electrical outlets
- Upgrading potentially vulnerable outlets with Ground Fault Circuit Interrupters
- Replacing light bulbs
- Upgrading interior and exterior lighting systems
- Replacing malfunctioning emergency signage
- Upgrading breakers and expanding breaker boxes
- Assigning dedicated circuits to key pieces of machinery
- Updating or repairing HVAC and other climate control components
The Benefits Of Lighting And Technology Upgrades
Most buildings and commercial properties are constructed to last for decades or more. Unfortunately, this can also mean that older buildings are likely to have outdated electrical systems. This is especially prevalent when it comes to interior lighting as well as outlets with improper grounds or ones that need Ground Fault Circuit Interrupters to be considered “Code Compliant.”
Some buildings and commercial property managers are understandably reticent to invest in the upfront cost of a technology upgrade. Budgets are important at all levels, and the extensive size of most commercial properties can often translate into dozens if not scores of units that need to be updated or upgraded.
It’s when you step back from the initial sticker shock of the upfront costs that you see just how easily the upgrades will translate into long-term savings on utility bills and maintenance costs. Even something as simple as upgrading your lighting to compact fluorescent bulbs or LED fixtures can help you realize a major return on investment.
The Benefits Of Smart Thermostats And Smart Lighting
Another fast way for a commercial property to realize a return on investment is to have its climate control system inspected, upgrades, and then installed with a so-called “Smart” thermostat. Many can be partnered with smart lighting controls. There are many different options on the market today. Most involve some level of wireless connectivity and many have free apps that are included in the purchase.
This allows you or your building manager to set up time and temperature settings, as well as adjust lighting levels for the time of day.
For instance, you could set the thermostat to automatically turn the heat down by 10 degrees at night during the winter when no one is in the building. Then an hour before normal operations begins the heating system can automatically bring the temperature back up. You can set up similar programs with lighting.
Then if someone needs to stay late, you can use the app to allow the heating program to stay at normal levels. On the other end of the spectrum, let’s say it’s a particularly sunny day, and there is more than enough natural light in the reception area, that you don’t need to the overhead lights on.
Professional Consultation And Maintenance Help Find The Right Options For Your Property
It can be hard to know just which features are right for your building. Especially if you are not intimately aware of its current electric system. Having professionals monitor, inspect, and routinely maintain your electric system will not only help your building remain code compliant, but it can also pay for itself in utility cost savings.