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Don't overlook basic building checks - building owners urged

The owners of premises in Cumbria that have been closed as a result of the Coronavirus outbreak have been reminded of the continued need to undertake basic maintenance checks.

The message has been issued by the Business and Economic Response and Recovery Group (BERRG) of the Local Resilience Forum, which is responsible for developing the county’s business and economy response to COVID-19.

Government issued clear instructions several weeks ago to a wide range of businesses and service providers - including most schools - that they should close until further notice in a bid to combat the spread of the disease.

Other businesses not included in the Government list were encouraged to continue operating, providing they could do so safely in accordance with guidance designed to protect employees and the public.

BERRG Chair Jo Lappin, Chief Executive of Cumbria Local Enterprise Partnership, said: “Despite the closure of buildings to the public and temporary halt to some services because of Covid-19, premises owners shouldn’t overlook the continuing need for an effective maintenance and cleansing regime.

“Businesses need to check premises in line with their own organisational, industry/sector and insurance requirements. This is important to meet building compliance requirements and safety standards in relation to Legionella risk, for example.”

If buildings are being used differently, and to a lesser degree than normal, then the following considerations may be appropriate:

  • Legionella risk reduction – Consider if your water system is being used differently to the way that is detailed in your Legionella Risk Assessment. Water taps, toilets, showers etc. should be run for five minutes each week and records made of the action. It is advisable to contact your Legionella Risk assessor for further advice.
  • Property checks – Does your building/contents insurance dictate that inspections should take place when they are not occupied for a period of time?

For systems including fire alarms and fire safety, emergency lighting, lifting equipment, gas servicing and security/intruder alarms, property owners are encouraged to ensure that correct service intervals are maintained.

More detailed advice on legionella prevention can be found on the website of the Legionella Control Association at:

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