Unlocking safety: roof access systems for a seamless shopping summer season
Check your roof access systems in time for summer: 3 practical solutions for a successful shopping season
As summer heats up, shopping centres become a magnet for many people looking for a welcome relief from the sweltering temperatures outside. It’s also a great excuse to shop, and make the most of the Christmas festivities.
This makes summer the busiest time of year for shopping centres. And with the increase in foot traffic, there are extra demands on your building infrastructure too.
Before the heat arrives, it’s a perfect time to think about preventative maintenance rather than reactive maintenance to avoid breakdowns, accidents and reduce risks during your peak season.
What typical summer challenges do shopping centre complexes face?
1. Aircon breakdowns – we see far more emergency callouts in summer, as the aircon is working overtime, and may not have been properly maintained
2. Fire safety concerns – clogged gutters that built up during the winter pose a real hazard for building safety in the heat of summer
3. Hanging Christmas decorations – sometimes height safety can put a scupper on plans because access is not safe enough or / and equipment is not certified to gain access
Why is this summer different?
In recent years we’ve seen an alarming increase in the duration of summer heatwaves, and this year is predicted to intensify.
With the predicted La Niña we are expected to see an increase in drought, heatwaves and bushfires. This prolonged exposure to high temperatures places tremendous strain in rural areas as well as inner city infrastructure.
Here’s a few things you can start thinking about now, to help protect your buildings through summer:
1. Roof access for aircon maintenance
Shopping complexes experience a spike in emergency callouts because they run non-stop in 36+ degree temperatures. With aircon breakdowns, the urgency to get them fixed and up and running sometimes leads to a disregard for safety aspects.
Don’t get caught out!
To maintain and repair air conditioning systems roof access is essential. Some platforms have no guardrails for instance, so this is a big problem for safety access.
Access must be both safe and certified to be able to carry spare parts, tools, and to manage repairs and maintenance as needed.
Cooling towers, which are integral components of many commercial AC systems, require even more frequent maintenance, as more can go wrong when they break down.
If you’re not confident in the status of your building roof access, we offer risk assessments and audits to help you find out if you’re in the green on safety compliance.
2. Gutter access for preventing fire hazards
In regional shopping centres (and particularly those surrounded by trees), overhanging trees drop leaves, leading to gutters filling up and drying out, creating a tinderbox situation. Keeping gutters clear is crucial to preventing fire hazards.
Ideally, you want to clean these out before the onset of summer to avoid the need for rooftop access during the scorching heat – 30 degrees on the ground means 45 on the roof!
When it comes to building maintenance and safety, it pays to be ahead of the game.
You can find more information on minimising fire hazard risk, and gutter access solutions here.
3. Façade access for Christmas displays
With summer comes Christmas, and festive decorations that hang from all façades. But you often need access to the building’s edge and various roof access systems are required for safe installations.
Does your gutter access system provide a façade access system as well? And have your portable ladders been inspected and certified before working at heights? Before Christmas comes around there’s lots to think about to ensure your building is ready to go.
We can support you with façade maintenance and talk you through the different types of access you might need for your plans. Click here to find out more.
Do you have what you need to stay compliant?
Routine essential services checks for fire, water, and gas are becoming a standard requirement. And rooftop access and safety equipment should fall in line with these compliance measures. By:
· proactively addressing maintenance,
· preparing for extreme conditions,
· maintaining safe access to rooftop areas, and
· focusing on safety, security, and compliance measures
Building and facilities managers can navigate the busy summer months safely and successfully, and provide a comfortable and secure environment for your shoppers.
Chat to our expert team about your preventative maintenance and compliance needs. Together we can tailor solutions for your requirements.[Get in touch]