January 21, 2019 10:53am

uper Bowl Sunday. Coming soon. Cleveland Browns vs. ??? Wouldn’t that be awesome?! After decades of cleaning house, reassessing, and rearranging, the Browns are showing signs of prime time contention.

Housekeeping and assessment aren’t just for major league sports teams. Consider commercial property maintenance and improvement. Think about neglected spaces that miss the cut of the property owner’s/manager’s attention. January is prime time to put them back on the roster!

Housekeeping in commercial indoor storage and utility rooms is often put off for another day. “Out of sight, out of mind” is a precursor to trouble. Property and downtime losses due to preventable fire and water damage in storage and utility areas are real.  Block losses you can prevent. Tackle all 10 housekeeping items below, reassess, and add or replace as needed.

1) Begin with a thorough walk through, notepad in hand. Document in real time (as you walk through) items requiring attention. Ensure that walkways are  clear of obstruction.

2) Clutter is a common culprit. Pick up any visible trash and dispose of it properly. Look for items stacked up, densely packed in, strewn about, or subject to toppling. These are hazards.

3) Pay particular attention to the amount of open space around appliances such as furnaces, boilers, hot water heaters, air conditioning units, humidifiers, and dehumidifiers. Nothing should impede airflow or be in close proximity resulting in a fire hazard. A good rule of thumb is 36” of clearance.

4) Check electrical panels. Ensure there is direct and unimpeded access so power can be immediately shut down in an emergency. Keep panel covers closed to prevent dust or grime build-up on switches.

5) Excess dust and dirt should be removed from surfaces and flooring. Wipe cobwebs from corners, hanging from ceilings, nesting on walls, or behind doors. Attention to cleaning often reveals a close-up view of overlooked spaces.

6) Examine exposed wiring and cables for evidence of wear or rodent chewing. If you suspect any wiring is compromised, contact a certified electrician immediately.

7) Look for water or evidence of water anywhere it should not be (puddles, streak marks on walls or ceiling, mold, leaking pipes or valves). Determine the source and take corrective measures.

8) Insulate pipes to lower the risk of cold-weather pipe-bursting.

9) Store cleaning agents, maintenance products and tools in secure areas and away from direct sunlight.

10) Schedule yearly HVAC equipment checks to ensure all appliances are in proper working order and not releasing dangerous gases.

If you have any questions, reach out to your Trusted Choice Independent Insurance Agent at Richey-Barrett Insurance.

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