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FIRE SAFETY & DISASTER RECOVERY


DO FACILITIES MANAGERS NEED TO UNDERSTAND DAMAGE MANAGEMENT?


Facilities Managers will at times have to deal with incidents that result in damage to buildings and assets; minor escapes of water, significant water ingress from flooding, or smoke and contamination following a fire, the BDMA explains what procedures to follow in such situations.


The processes followed in such circumstances will often be informed by a company’s business continuity plan but understanding the procedures that will be undertaken by damage management contractors and knowing what to expect during the recovery and restoration phase, can make the facility manager’s job a great deal easier.


The science of drying and decontaminating buildings and contents after fire or water damage can be complex and procedures may vary greatly according to the size and nature of an incident. In a commercial property, or a residential complex involving a number of households, professional damage management companies will work with the building owner, facilities manager and other stakeholders to understand their priorities and plan restoration work to meet agreed objectives as quickly and effectively as possible.


Working with the insurer and loss adjuster, in conjunction with the facilities and/or business continuity manager and other interested


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parties, the damage management company can advise what steps need to be taken immediately to stabilise the environment and avoid further damage or deterioration. Taking into account the priorities of the company, or the building complex, the contractor will be able to recommend a plan for recovery and restoration that balances timescales and cost against critical business needs.


IN OR OUT? There will be occasions, for


instance, when it is necessary for personnel to move out of a building while restoration work is taking place. However, if operational requirements are fully understood, it may be possible to agree a programme that keeps disruption to a minimum.


The Facilities Manager will often be best placed to provide information on the everyday functionality of the building during these initial discussions and a likely point of contact during the restoration period. Their input, however, will


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