Winter is almost here, and while your office building may not be too affected by the snow, some parts of the country are expecting dangerous amounts. If you own or manage an office building, make sure that you have everything in place to prepare for these storms.
Office building managers should take the necessary precautions to protect their office buildings from the impending snowstorm. This checklist will help office building managers make sure that they have everything they need before the snow starts to fall.
1. Identify All the Entrances and Exits in the Office Building
Office building managers should check to make sure that each entrance and exit can open and close properly. Managers should also take note of any doors that don’t close correctly (e.g., doors that need new locks or hinges). If damage is found, contact a professional immediately.
2. Prepare for Power Outages
Make sure employees know what to do if there’s a power outage (e.g., follow evacuation procedures) and where emergency lights are located (i.e., on every floor near exits). During bad weather, adjust your business’s hours of operation or cancel operations early enough so employees will not be stuck outside when the storm hits.
3. Clear All the Sidewalks and Entrances
It’s a good idea for office building managers to hire a commercial snow removal service to remove snow from all sidewalks, stairs, entrances, walkways, parking lots, and roadways surrounding the office building. It’s also a good idea to ask neighbors if they can help by shoveling or plowing around your office building. In addition, managers should never push snow onto public sidewalks because it could damage them.
4. Inspect Electrical Wires and Power Lines
Office building managers should make sure there aren’t any loose power lines near the office building before a storm hits. If you find any loose electricity wires or power lines on or around your office building, call a professional as soon as possible to have them inspected.
5. Inspect the Roof
During extreme weather, it’s a good idea to have an experienced person inspect your office building’s roof. If you can’t find anyone to do the inspection yourself, call a professional commercial roofing company that has experience handling winter snowstorms. The last thing you want is for part of your roof to collapse due to the weight of the snow.
6. Stow Outdoor Furniture and Equipment
If there are any outdoor furniture pieces or other equipment near your office building, make sure they are covered or moved indoors before a storm hits. During bad weather, debris from these items could fly through windows if strong enough winds blow them around during a storm.
7. Review Winter Storm Drills
Be sure to review office building evacuation procedures with employees before they are needed. Managers should also test fire alarms every year during the winter months just in case there’s an emergency evacuation during a storm.
8. Prepare for Viral Outbreaks
It’s important to have the proper medical supplies on hand just in case of viral outbreaks during bad weather (e.g., flu), including first aid kits, disinfectants, gloves, masks, etc. If you know that many of your employees were recently sick or had recently been exposed to the flu, have packets of disinfectant wipes available for them to use if they are sick or need to clean something.
9. Cover All Windows and Doors
If you have any windows in your office building, managers should prepare for the snowstorm by covering them up with heavy plastic sheeting. The last thing you want is for windows to break because of an excess buildup of ice or snow. Be sure to also cover all doors with plastic sheeting before a storm hits so that there aren’t any gaps between the door and frame when the wind starts blowing during the storm.
10. Monitor Storm Watches and Warnings
Before leaving work early because of impending bad weather, make sure to monitor local news channels or other weather-related websites to see if a storm watch or warning has been issued. In addition, managers should have a backup generator in case the office building loses power during a storm so employees can continue doing their jobs.
As an office building manager, you need to plan ahead for any potential snowstorm. This checklist should help guide your preparations so that you can protect both the safety of your employees and the integrity of your property. From covering up windows to installing a backup generator, these ten tips should ensure that everything is in order before winter hits.