Out of sight, but not out of mind

Power Control
03 Mar 2021

Commercial properties have been hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic and with landlords facing nearly £1billion in empty property tariffs, renewed pressure has been placed on Rishi Sunak to extend and reform business rates.

An estimated quarter of the country’s office spaces and retail units have been vacated and left empty over the last 12 months, which according to thisismoney has meant that commercial property is the worst selling, open ended asset of 2020. These facts focus primarily on the physical building structures but what about the assets within them? Looking beyond the furnishings, many of these facilities will have invested huge sums of money in their electrical infrastructures.

Assets including security, fire suppression and emergency backup power all need to be considered. Looking specifically at backup power equipment such as UPS (Uninterruptible Power Supply) systems these cannot be left dormant.

Despite the positive outcomes from the vaccine rollout and the recent release of the Prime Minister’s roadmap to recovery’, there is still a lot of uncertainty for commercial landlords. With retailers forced to shut up shop, many will end up permanently closing their doors and as huge proportions of the country continue to abandon their commutes in favour of working remotely, they will undoubtedly be tempted to leave behind the nine-to-five grind for good. This sets precarious timelines for when properties will be occupied again.

With the list of unknowns unquantifiable and the outlook is temporarily bleak but landlords need to remain vigilant and must continue to service their properties and safeguard their holdings. In reference to UPS systems, if these are left idle they could cause long term property damage. Their internal batteries are extremely hazardous and if they are exposed to unsuitable conditions or high temperatures, this could be resultant of significant damage and in extreme cases risk of fire.

Less dangerous but equally significant, is to consider when the UPS unit was last serviced and of course if it is still operational. Often housed out of sight, UPS systems can often be forgotten. If these emergency backup solutions are still being used to support essential facility applications such as security systems, emergency lighting and door access, it is imperative that they are checked to ensure they are still operating as they should be. UPS maintenance is recommended at least every six months.

In cases where there are permanent property closures, landlords should consider appropriate UPS decommissioning protocols. UPS systems that are 6kVA and above should have a technical condition report carried out. If the UPS solution is to remain in situ but disused, a make safe service is also recommended. For those selling property on, it is important to remember that the UPS can be included as an asset and a condition report will add value to the business. These reports will confirm the current performance of systems, outline the existing environment and give detailed guidance on best practice.

Power Control is offering all commercial property owners free UPS condition reports and decommissioning services. The company has provided emergency power for businesses of all sizes since 1994 and is trusted by leading institutions across the country. The company’s nationwide team of engineers deliver all regular servicing and maintenance works, following strict site restrictions and out of hours protocols.

Adhering to rigorous health and safety protocols, Power Control’s team of engineers are well versed in following Government guidelines and taking necessary precautions to carry out these essential UPS works.

Working with businesses of all sizes across the country, Power Control supplies, installs, commissions and maintains backup power solutions for all applications. For more information please visit www.powercontrol.co.uk, email info@powercontrol.co.uk or call the office on 01246 925936