Building optimization is the process of collecting credible data on a building’s performance and longevity.…
Routine maintenance is crucial for commercial and corporate-use buildings because it is the key to maintaining a comfortable, suitable, and safe work environment for all tenants. Building maintenance has a broad scope. It usually consists of janitorial services, utility upkeep, emergency facilities maintenance, and plumbing and electrical servicing. Ideally, buildings have teams dedicated to each of these areas; and where the budget is scant or specialists are not available, building administrators would outsource the work to reliable service providers.
All of these are essential services, but some can be attended to less frequently than others. Foremost on the more frequent end of the scale would have to be electrical maintenance services. Unfortunately, many building administrators reduce their electrical maintenance to an as-needed basis. Save for hiring a small team of electricians, they only call for specialists when there’s an urgent need for them. By this time, the problem has gotten massive and more expensive than it would have been if it were addressed earlier.
Electrical maintenance in commercial buildings must be done regularly and routinely. It’s an investment that shouldn’t be overlooked because to do so would compromise both tenants and the building itself.
An Investment in Safety and Compliance
Regular and routine electrical maintenance is essential from a business standpoint because it ensures the safety of everybody in the building and its surroundings. It also brings long-term payoffs: buildings with a reputation for providing excellent electrical facilities are the ones that gain business owners’ trust and contracts.
Well-maintained electrical facilities yield the following benefits: ;
1. It keeps things running smoothly in the entire building.
Reliable electrical infrastructure and sufficient power are non-negotiables for tenants and occupants of commercial and corporate-use buildings. Their operations depend on the facilities of their headquarters, and when the most basic ones, like electric systems, fall short of expectations, they won’t hesitate to terminate their contract and look for another place.
2. It is essential for keeping tenants and their businesses safe.
According to the latest combined data from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), U.S. Fire Administration, and the National Fire Data Center, 8% of non-residential fires in the country were due to electrical malfunctions such as short circuits and faulty wiring. The report also cited electrical malfunctions as the leading cause for fires in buildings that are used for these business categories:
- Food and beverage
- Stores and offices
- Basic industry
These categories are some of the largest markets today, so it’s safe to assume that every commercial building (especially if it’s located in an urban center) is bound to have at least one business that, statistically, has a high risk for electrical fires.
Building administrators can reduce such risks through regular electrical checks and maintenance. Visual inspections are part of the process and are by no means the end of it. That’s why it’s important to employ or hire electrical specialists who can quickly spot problems like deteriorating or cracking wires and switches, corrosion in batteries and circuit boards, irregularities in electric features (e.g., dimming lights, air conditioners emitting odd sounds or smells), and other matters that inexperienced eyes might overlook. Investing in their specialties is key to ensuring the safety of all building occupants.
3. It keeps the building compliant.
Commercial buildings are subject to numerous state and federal regulations for safety. Moreover, the standards for each industry or business type also varies. For instance, the electrical requirements for commercial kitchens are different from the requirements for laboratories.
But isn’t it the responsibility of the renting business to comply with its industry’s electrical standards? This is correct, to an extent: tenants are expected to maintain and repair the electrical fixtures they installed in the space they leased. A restaurant owner, for example, is expected to be responsible for the maintenance of the exhaust fan he or she added to the kitchen space.
Building-wide electrical systems, however, are responsibilities of the building administration (the exception would be if a sole tenant signs a contract with a “compliance with all laws” clause, which would then transfer all compliance duties over to the tenant). Tenants may agree to bear some responsibility for the maintenance and upkeep of the spaces they’re renting, but building-wide maintenance and compliance measures are shouldered by the landlord or building administration. These include maintenance of emergency facilities that rely on the building’s electrical systems, such as smoke detectors, sprinkler systems, emergency lights, and fire alarms.
4. It prevents expensive repairs and revenue losses due to electrical catastrophes.
From a business perspective, regular electrical maintenance is crucial to protecting a commercial building’s bottom line. If the overhead cost of an in-house electrical team is too expensive, subscribing to an electrical services company would be a cost-effective alternative. Scheduled regular inspections and maintenance services are often just a fraction of the cost of system-wide overhauls should a building’s electrical systems fail.
The repercussions when word spreads about a building’s sub-par electrical systems can also hurt its income. Current tenants (who would no doubt be aware of the issue already) will be unlikely to renew their leases. This can result in a high turnover rate, is a red flag for perceptive business owners. Some will scrutinize the building more closely, while others will simply remove the building in question from their shortlist.
5. It helps the building conserve energy and save on other operational costs.
Regular electrical maintenance and successful compliance can generate energy savings. It’s a benefit both the tenants and the building administration can enjoy.
- Well-maintained electrical systems run at peak efficiency, reducing energy waste to a minimum.
- Well-maintained electrical facilities can outlast their expected lifespans. They won’t need frequent repairs or parts replacements.
- Preventive electrical maintenance reduces downtime, which often leads to revenue losses.
- Correct load distributions ensure that tenants are not paying more than what they’re consuming.
- Regular inspections inform building administrators if their power generation capacity exceeds or falls short of their tenants’ needs.
These are merely five of the many reasons why regular electrical maintenance services are a must for commercial buildings. Ironically, electrical maintenance is a basic need, yet it is one of the things that often get sidelined when rental revenues are short.
As a building owner or administrator, your decisions should never compromise compliance or safety. The consequences are too dire to even consider. Regular and routine electrical maintenance services must be included in your monthly overhead expenditures.
Hire experienced electrical services teams that specialize in maintenance for commercial buildings. Get in touch with Pro Circuit Inc.