Keeping Empty Buildings Safe

Voda Compliance – Keeping Empty Buildings Safe

Businesses right now are, very wisely, closing up their premises to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and, as experts in helping to keep people safe from potentially lethal diseases, we whole heartedly approve.  However, we are slightly concerned that some premises, whether they be factories, hotels, schools, offices, retail units or workshops may open up again without performing the actions required to guard against dangers other than this coronavirus.  It would be quite understandable if businesses were so eager to open again that they forgot about the various tasks they need to perform to keep their building compliant with health and safety regulations to keep everyone safe so here are some things to consider.

Water Safety

This is our area of expertise, obviously, and we’re concerned that many businesses will be so concerned about COVID-19 that they’ll forget about the risk of Legionella bacteria which can also cause life threatening illness. Leaving a building empty often means water stagnates and becomes a breeding ground for Legionella bacteria so it’s important to flush all water systems through thoroughly with hot water or get them treated if necessary.  We have found that people think about this with their water systems but forget about their air conditioning or refrigeration units which can also become hazardous if left to breed Legionella so we recommend getting them checked over by experts like our friends at 4 Facilities Ltd who can make sure all air conditioning and refrigeration units are safe before you reopen your building.

Electrical Safety

Electrician in Hove

Water ingress and pests can cause havoc with wiring and electrical equipment too so this may need to be safety checked by professional electricians like our colleagues at Kingfisher Electrics to ensure it is safe before reopening the building.  Electrical testing needs to be kept up to date even in vacant properties to remain compliant with health and safety regulations which you are still liable for even if you aren’t currently using the building.

Fire Safety

It’s the same with fire safety systems.  You need to have the relevant testing carried out and make sure you have left the building compliant with fire safety regulations even if you aren’t occupying it.  Checking the electrical systems before you start using everything again will be a good way to help prevent fires but it is also important to fully empty the sprinkler system to avoid this becoming a possible place for Legionella bacteria to grow.  It is worth checking that this has happened before you occupy your building again and call us in to help you if you find there is still water in the system.

All of these issues are clearly important compliance issues which can incur hefty fines if they aren’t done properly but, much more importantly, people can actually die if they’re neglected so it is very important to stay on top of these issues while keeping safe from COVID-19.  We can help with all your water safety requirements regardless of the type of operation you run and if you would just like some advice or would like to ask us a question, please don’t hesitate to get in touch on 01273 005457 or email info@vodacompliance.co.uk.

David SaxtonKeeping Empty Buildings Safe