Running a retail destination presents a multitude of challenges, some of which are highly specialised and are best carried out by a cost effective expert service provider. Some of the areas in which you must be compliant are outlined below. To get you started on the path to compliance, we are currently offering a free buildings services audit, so please contact us today.
Your Legal Responsibility
Legionella bacteria can cause a flu-like illness which, in severe cases, can threaten the lives of shoppers using your washroom facilities, particularly the elderly, people with disabilities and those with compromised immune systems. As a shopping centre operator, it’s your legal duty to keep legionella at bay with risk assessments, tank cleaning, remedial work, testing and flushing routines and TMV servicing. You must comply with this in order not to be negligent.
We specialise in helping shopping centres to comply; and our skilled technicians are expert in making sure that retail destinations comply with L8, the guidance document which governs Legionella Control.
If you don’t have a risk assessment, or don’t know when one was last carried out, you need to take action right away. We can help. You will find more information on our Legionella Control pages.
Kitchen extract ductwork accumulates fat, oil and grease deposits in even the most spotless kitchen; and these constitute a fire risk which you must control as a legal duty. If you have a food outlet with a kitchen within your shopping centre, you will need a schedule for cleaning your kitchen extract ductwork in compliance with TR/19, the leading guidance document for ductwork cleaning. Even if a kitchen is part of a franchised outlet or operated by a lessee rather than your own team, you will probably still be liable to ensure that it is compliant under the terms of your buildings insurance, as well as the law. Again, not complying with TR/19 could be construed legally as negligence, as Fire Safety Kitchen Extract Cleaning is an essential part of fire prevention.
How often you need to clean will depend on how many hours each kitchen is in operation. You will probably have more than one food outlet, and differing usage patterns for each kitchen. We can help you to work out the most cost effective cleaning schedule and carry out work quickly and efficiently so that you are compliant. We can work with you and your tenants to ensure that every food outlet in your centre undergoes regular Fire Safety Kitchen Extract Cleaning and stays compliant.
Visit our Fire Safety Kitchen Extract Cleaning page for more information.
Your ventilation ductwork must also be cleaned regularly to comply with TR/19. This stipulates that ventilation ductwork must be classified as high, medium or low. This is dictated by how you use the spaces within your property. The ductwork which serves front of house may need a different classification to the maintenance areas behind the scenes
These ratings will determine how often the ductwork must be tested or cleaned, so it needs to be correct. If you aren’t sure, we can classify each part of the system for you and help to devise a plan to bring your ductwork up to a compliant condition. Then we can help you to establish and ongoing schedule to ensure that you meet your legal obligation and stay compliant for the future.
Our Ductwork Cleaning pages have more information on this.
Another very important passive fire prevention measure is the regular testing, cleaning and maintenance of fire dampers. These are metal louvres which can open and close and are installed across the ductwork to form a temporary barrier when closed but allow the free flow of air when open. You may not even be aware that your ventilation system has fire dampers, but they fulfil a very important function, so you must be sure that they are in working order.
In the event of a fire travelling through ductwork, the fire damper must close, to restrict the oxygen supply to the fire and create a barrier which slows the spread of the fire. This buys valuable time in which to safely evacuate shoppers, especially the more vulnerable and less mobile centre visitors.
There are different types of fire damper; some are spring operated, some have fuseable links and there are other designs which are remotely operated. All types must be regularly tested, using a method known as drop testing, cleaned and maintained. According to recently updated guidance, BS9999:2017, all fire dampers must now be tested at no more than twelve month intervals.
We can help you locate your fire dampers, create access to inaccessible fire dampers then drop test, clean and maintain them for compliance. More information can be found on our fire dampers page.
Documenting your compliance
With all our services, excellent work is only half the story. In the event of an inspection, you will need to be able to demonstrate that your shopping centre is compliant; it won’t be enough for you to know that it is. We provide all the required documentation, including before and after photographs and post clean and maintenance reports so you can be sure that your service users are safe and you are protected from any liability for negligence. We will keep copies of all your compliance reports on our web portal so you can always view or print them.
Are you compliant now?
If you don’t know if you are compliant at the moment, why not start with our handy compliance checkers?
For help and guidance, contact us now. Swiftclean supports shopping centre operators.