The ENTOUCH Blog

07. 11. 2018

Preventing a Catastrophe: Smart Sensors and Their Building Maintenance/Monitoring Use

Catastrophes and major building maintenance problems will happen, but smart sensors can help reduce this risk.

Preventative building maintenance relies on understanding existing facility assets and ongoing monitoring. Facilities Managers that understand this principle can successfully mitigate the risk of losses due to a catastrophe.

How Does Poor Building Maintenance Contribute to Catastrophes in Business?

Poor building maintenance can be a source of major risks, especially fires and extensive damage. Regarding fire risk, according to Buildings.com, the results of poor building maintenance can include significant loss of product, diminished productivity, and continuous disruption of the customer experience. In fact, the causes of building fires and fire-related catastrophes, like smoke damage disrupting business, include the following:

  • Up to 63 percent of building fires resulting from wiring or related equipment.
  • Electrical failures or malfunctions were responsible for up to 74 percent of all equipment failures.
  • Wire and cable insulation is often the first substance to ignite in a fire.

Smart Sensors in Building Monitoring and Maintenance Reduce Risk

A preventative maintenance checklist, as well as a facility condition audit, reports Buildings.com, focuses on inspecting facility assets for potential risks before such risks come to fruition. A comprehensive preventative maintenance checklist must focus on the integrity of your roofing, lighting and wiring systems, the HVAC system, and plumbing. Such assets should be inspected twice annually and after severe weather, and ongoing maintenance of these areas, such as clearing roof drains of debris, inspecting P-traps or trapped U-bend water, cleaning and replacing air filters, checking for signs of leaks, inspecting light sources and wiring systems for potential tears in wires, loose screws and hardware, and appropriate color temperature.

Although these measures may seem labor-intensive, they help Facilities Managers identify risks and replace equipment before catastrophe ensues. Fortunately, many of these processes can be automated through deployed sensors, connected to the Internet of Things (IoT), which can monitor water flows, identifclogs, since changes in water pressure, identify changes in the resistance of the electrical wiring, and more.

How to Make the Most of Smart Connected Systems

Connected building maintenance systems have major benefits, but Facilities Managers should follow a few best practices to make the greatest use of connected systems, which according to AkitaBox, may include:

  1. Retrofit facilities.
  2. Use smart alert and notification systems.
  3. Automate disaster response.
  4. Consider physical and cybersecurity risks.
  5. Implement a predictive, preventative maintenance program.
  6. Review wire condition frequently.
  7. Correct issues as soon as possible.
  8. Use analytics to understand asset functions.
  9. Learn from experiences.

Commission Your Facility Retrofit to Improve Building Maintenance Now

Successful building maintenance begins with understanding asset run time and status. Facilities Managers can use sensors and smart technologies to prevent catastrophes through improved building maintenance. Furthermore, a facility retrofit may take less time than you think, and the ROI will help your organization achieve success. Visit ENTOUCH online to find out more, or give us a call at 1-800-820-3511 today.

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