How To Identify a Maintenance Emergency After Hours or Know What Can Wait - Article Banner

Everybody has a different idea of what an emergency is. When you’re working in a commercial property and something goes wrong outside of normal business hours, you’ll need to make a quick decision about how to handle the situation and whether you need to escalate the call for help to your property manager

This will depend on what’s happening and whether there’s any danger to people or property. 

When you’re not sure what to do and whether what you’re experiencing at the property is a true emergency, consider some of these tips. 

Trust your instincts and use your logic and reason before you contact the property management company. Is this really something that cannot wait until the morning or the next business day?

Identifying Commercial Property Emergencies

Common sense will tell you that anything putting someone in danger is of course an emergency. If there is a fire, for example, your first responsibility is to get out of the building and away from danger. Then, call 911, and as soon as it is safe for you to do so, call your property manager.

A broken water line or anything that’s causing flooding at the property is also an emergency. Water can cause a lot of problems quickly, and if you have expensive office equipment or inventory that’s at risk, you’ll need to move quickly to protect it. 

You’ll also want to contact your property manager right away if there’s a broken gas line or a gas leak. However, if you notice a natural gas smell or you detect an odor that smells like rotten eggs, get in touch with the local gas company and or call 911 immediately.

Sewer back-ups are also an emergency, especially if your commercial unit is being flooded. 

All of these situations will require an immediate response from you and your property manager. You should have all the necessary contact information to notify your management company of what’s happening. 

Understanding What Can Wait 

Sometimes, inconveniences can seem like emergencies, but they can wait. Doors that are sticking, outlets that won’t work, and light bulbs that have burned out do not require a phone call in the middle of the night or over a weekend. Even a toilet that isn’t flushing cannot be considered an emergency if there are other toilets that can be used. 

Put Together an Emergency Action Plan

Don’t wait for an emergency to occur at your property. 

The best way to approach any rental property emergency is to have an action plan. This will help you stay focused, organized, and prepared in an otherwise chaotic situation. 

While you’re putting together an emergency plan, you should also be thinking about your insurance and whether it’s adequate for every possible situation. Don’t wait for the emergency to happen before you find out whether you’re protected against that particular type of loss. Make it a habit to check in with your insurance agent regularly. 

Make sure you can access your policy number and the contact information for your agent or insurance company. If these details are written down in a paper file in your office but you can’t get to that office, you’ll want to know that you have them saved in your phone or somewhere online. Conversely, if there’s an internet or mobile outage that prevents you from accessing digital information, you’ll want to know what you’re looking for in a physical file somewhere else. 

As your property managers, we’re prepared to manage any emergency that occurs after hours. We also expect you to use your best judgment and to know what constitutes an emergency and what can wait. 

Contact Property ManagerIf you’d like to talk through this with us, please contact us at Preston-Lee Management Company. We’ve been providing property management services in the High Desert for more than 20 years.