We know the current lockdown measures are having a huge impact on lots of businesses, particularly in hospitality and retail – whether you’ve been forced to close fully, or scale back significantly. However, closure also presents a rare opportunity to catch up on maintenance that could help you hit the ground running when things return to normal.
Adjusting to current challenges and working out how your premises needs to be maintained during this time can feel daunting – but by taking advantage of a challenging situation and using the ‘spare’ time you now have, you can ensure your most critical facilities and equipment are ready to work at their best when lockdown is lifted. Below, we‘ve put together a quick list of the basic things you can do to look after your key equipment and core systems.
Review your fire safety plans and processes
Even at the best of times, day-to-day priorities can get in the way of properly taking stock of the way you approach fire safety. Now, with changes to the way we all work, as well as changing restrictions and possibly reductions in your staff numbers, it’s more important than ever to make sure your plans are up-to-date.
From legally required inspections of your alarms, doors and extinuishers to carrying out a full fire risk assessment, there’s plenty to check across your premises. This list of the vital things you should review while your building is closed for business is a good start, but it’s important to seek help from a fire safety expert if you need further all-round support.
Put your heating into lockdown mode
Although you may not need to keep customers and staff warm while your business is closed, leaving your heating on (and even having it managed remotely) can continue to protect your building’s pipes, furnishings and electrical devices.
While the latest lockdown has left the hospitality and retail businesses with unwanted time on their hands, it does provide the perfect opportunity to carry out basic preventative boiler maintenance and also get any essential servicing works completed without disruption.
Maintain your fridges and freezers properly
It’s important to fully clean and maintain your chillers and freezers before leaving them unused during lockdown. By following a few simple steps, you can make sure your most important kitchen appliances are ready to get back up and running when your business is able to re-open.
‘Hibernate’ your dishwashers
Preparing your commercial dishwashers by going through the right care and maintenance checklist can protect them during downtime when the time comes to use them again – the last thing you need when you can re-open is a breakdown that leaves you with a pile of dirty dishes and stops you serving your customers for even longer.
Carry out laundry housekeeping
If you have an onsite laundry for uniforms and tableware, you’ll want to ensure your washers and dryers are in full working order (and hygienic) when you need them again.
This handy laundry maintenance guide will help you tick off some important boxes and make sure everything’s done safely and that your machines are in the same condition when you switch them back on.
Double check the support that’s available
A number of schemes have been put in place by the government to support businesses, including grants up to £9,000 for retail, hospitality and leisure; the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme for smaller businesses; and the Job Retention Scheme which helps you protect your workforce.
You’ve probably looked into these before, but some schemes have been improved upon and extended, so it’s worth using this time to double-check the financial support you could be eligible for.
If you need help with maintenance or compliance during lockdown and beyond, contact our friendly team – we’ll be happy to talk through any legal obligations you need support with, or arrange site visits where possible to assist with any servicing or repairs you might need.