As we head into peak holiday season are your facility operations making you feel “Bah Humbug” or “Merry & Bright”? Whether your properties are welcoming peak holiday crowds, or your commercial offices are preparing for a temporary end-of-year shutdown, your commercial cleaning and facilities maintenance program needs to ensure the safety of your premises, people, and equipment. Take some of the stress out of holiday (and winter) preparations with our 5-point facilities checklist.
1. Align your maintenance schedules with your holiday hours. As commercial offices and institutional facilities prepare for winter closures, take advantage of the downtime to schedule seasonal deep cleaning and preventative maintenance to prepare for the busy months ahead. Anticipating holiday crowds and extended operating hours? You may need to schedule more regular deep cleaning to keep windows sparkling, floors shiny, and restrooms spotless (and odorless). Be sure to communicate regularly with your facilities maintenance partner regarding:
- Regularly communicate changes in operating hours, office closures, and anticipated special events/foot traffic.
- Review and schedule a seasonal deep cleaning of your facilities with a focus on EPA-approved disinfecting requirements.
- During downtime, inspect HVAC equipment and systems, which includes cleaning or replacing filters and air vents.
- Review safety control systems, deploy equipment facilities upgrades, check lighting, and other maintenance needs.
- With ongoing supply chain shortages, it’s also critical to keep tabs on inventory. From everyday items like paper towels, hand sanitizer, and face masks, to seasonal supplies like entrance mats and deicer, don’t be left shorthanded this winter. Integrated facilities maintenance partners, like ESCFederal, have national vendor supply partners to help alleviate risk and eliminate supply scarcity. Contact us for more information.
2. COVID protocols and general measures for cold and flu prevention. For retail, hospitality, entertainment, and healthcare facilities, the holiday season brings higher foot traffic, which leads to higher contact transmission rates of flu and colds, in addition to the COVID virus. And after low winter numbers last year, experts warn that this year’s flu season may be more severe than usual. Check the following:
- Revisit cleaning frequency schedules to meet the needs of daily disinfecting services for light switches, restrooms, reception areas, door handles, and other high-frequency touchpoints.
- Anticipate additional time to clean areas such as touch-down stations, elevators, and shared workspaces, and items such as Plexi-glass dividers, sneeze guards, and hand sanitizing stations.
- Ensure sanitation stations are set up (and maintained) in major walkways, breakrooms, lounge areas, etc.
3. Health and safety review. Every comprehensive health and safety plan requires regular review to protect staff and occupants. If your facility doesn’t already have a health and safety plan, an integrated facilities maintenance partner, like ESCFederal, can help you create one tailored to your property’s unique needs. In addition to ensuring current COVID protocols are in place, a health and safety check should include:
- Are all safety control systems up-to-date and working? Batteries replaced where needed?
- Are fire and emergency exits clear from clutter? Are fire extinguishers up-to-date?
- If you have an increase in seasonal employees during the holiday period, do you have a plan in place to train them effectively in your safety practices and procedures?
- Are your emergency and maintenance contact lists current (including coverage vacation coverage)?
4. Winter is coming. Is your property ready? Slip and fall accidents cost U.S. businesses a combined $34 billion every year, according to the CDC. People tend to walk faster during the hustle and bustle of the holidays and are at even greater risk of falling due to snow and ice. Your facility must be prepared with the right tools, equipment, and supplies to keep snow and ice cleared in parking areas, entrances, and walkways as part of winter holiday maintenance. Ensure your facility is prepared for winter weather, including:
- Wet floor signage
- Proper matting system to protect from rain, mud, snow, and dirt.
- Containers of deicers like salt or environmentally-friendly alternatives to reduce slipping on icy walkways
- Snow removal equipment (or scheduled snow removal service)
- Don’t forget to schedule extra cleaning for floors, carpets, and entryways during inclement weather!
5. End-of-year de-clutter. The end of the year is the perfect time to say goodbye to clutter and start the new year fresh with these tips:
- Don’t let the fridge become a holiday health hazard. Give notice to employees and schedule a regular clean-out day with your janitorial services partner.
- Remind employees to de-clutter desks and common areas in anticipation of holiday vacations. Not only is it courteous to their co-workers, but it also allows desks to be cleaned that might have been previously buried under mounds of paper and coffee cups.
- After the holidays, decide which decorations may need to be discarded and which need to be cleaned before they are packed away for next year.
This 5-Point checklist will keep your facilities Merry & Bright for the holidays. As seasons change, so do your facility needs. At ESCFederal, we provide world-class facility service solutions with an operations-first approach. Our customized work plans for each of your locations will help drive consumer confidence so you can focus on your core business. Contact us today for a quote.