Page 10 — Property Management Quarterly — July 2023 P ower goes out, machinery screeches to a halt during a busy day, and your worst- case scenario is suddenly realized. Looming over you, was the call you put off to your electrical partner for preventive maintenance. Now an unplanned outage has happened and all you can think about is lost time and the potential for uncontrolled costs for emergency repairs. When your schedule is consis- tently full, there never seems to be an ideal time to arrange preven- tive maintenance service. A sud- den and emergent outage is just waiting to strike; don’t let it put the brakes on your productivity. Make a plan to control emergency outages and costs before you don’t have a choice. One concern we hear often is that customers assume many electri- cal services can’t be completed without shutting down all power for an extended period of time. In many cases, an electrician can pro- vide alternative solutions such as phased maintenance or the use of temporary generators to keep your facility running while some ser- vices are provided. It is important to note there are select services that do require power to be turned off; however, they can be sched- uled during a regular shutdown or during off-hours, so don’t let that worry be a barrier in getting preven- tive maintenance scheduled. Recently at one 18-story Denver apartment complex, our service technicians were called to assist with a power outage that had an unidentified cause. What they dis- covered was an exploded bus duct, leaving the build- ing both without power and at risk. This dangerous and costly issue could have been prevented with scheduled main- tenance. The team quickly got to work, turning off the power to the building, uncovering why the explo- sion happened, and investigating what it could do to get power back up and running. It soon found the cause of the outage was electri- cal infrastructure that was more than 50 years old. Not only was the equipment not maintained, but it was also no longer manufactured, so repairs could not be made, which meant full replacement was required. In the interim, technicians were able to get the power running temporarily but at a much greater cost than a preventive maintenance program would have been. “Oftentimes we can make repairs; however, when equipment is not maintained properly and an emer- gency happens, the costs both in time and money can really add up,” said Zack Maestas, senior account manager at Encore Electric, reflect- ing on this service call and many others like it. “It’s important to speak with your electrical partner now to create a strategic plan so you can avoid the stress of worrying about an emergency outage.” Work with your electrical partner to develop a strategic maintenance plan that will allow you to invest in items like building energy efficiency improvements, saving your facility time and money in the short and long term. You can also consider incorporating some preventive maintenance upgrades, including replacing old generators, changing outdated fixtures to accommodate light-emitting diode bulbs, upgrad- ing motor control centers and replacing building technology to comply with the new International Energy Conservation Code (IECC) electrical metering and reporting requirements. A huge time or dollar investment doesn’t have to be made to get started. Here are three things you can do now to keep your facility running efficiently – you might even see some cost savings too! n Fire alarm system testing is the first preventive maintenance strat- egy you must have in place as a property manager. Important things to know: • Fire alarm system testing is the responsibility of property manag- ers and carries a legal obligation for annual service and maintenance. • Fire alarm inspections are a visual assessment of the condition of the equipment that makes up the fire alarm system. • Fire alarm testing is the func- tional test of the system to ensure Minimize power, electrical emergency services Sam Harrison Senior account manager, Encore Electric Please see Harrison, Page 17 Maintenance Data center