The happiest day of my parents’ lives was undoubtedly one of Michael Fish’s worst.
My mother could be forgiven for feeling a little under the weather as she sat in a RAF hospital somewhere in Germany holding her first born son for the first time, while across the English Channel Fish was awaking to find himself under the weather of a much less metaphorical kind. As I lay in my army issue new-born cot, Britain was beginning the arduous clean-up task left to them by The Great Storm of 1987; a hurricane that Michael Fish had assured the nation the day before wasn’t going to happen.
That hurricane on 16th October 1987 was one of the most destructive on record, causing over a billion pounds’ worth of damage and killing 22 people. There has only been one storm of a greater magnitude – The Burns Day storm in January of 1990, which caused £3.3b damage, claiming 97 lives.
As we enter November the dog is leaving more and more muddy paw-prints on your once-white carpet. While the leaves continue to fall from the trees, it’s time to think about (and prepare for) the months that lie ahead.
At Propertyserve, our facilities management helpdesk feels the winter arrive every year with a definitive spike in calls. Based on the nature of those calls, the opinions of our contractors and the expertise of our very own MD, we’ve put together the top five ways we think facilities managers can prepare their commercial properties for the cold, dark and relentless winter that is likely to lie ahead.
Here is our first tip on winter risk management – gritting. We will be sending out the next four over the next few weeks…
Tip 1. Ensure you have a suitable gritting contract for your building
The days of getting your security guard to throw some grit around when he arrives are well and truly gone. The FM industry now recognises the significance of installing a gritting program with tracking capabilities, greatly reducing the chances of a tenant having an accident and the subsequent claim that inevitably follows. In addition, gritting companies are also offering reactive snow cover which can be linked into the forecast and charged on an ad-hoc basis.
This service is well worth consideration as a tenant is rarely more irate than when they can get all the way to their offices but can’t get across their own car park! Failure to sign up to this service will result in joining the back of the queue for the ‘men with shovel’ brigade as all snow clearance machinery will be fulfilling contracts in place.
Gritting companies are also wired into the most sophisticated weather tracking technology available so will know snow is coming before most of us!
Jake Jones, Propertyserve helpdesk