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ADVICE: Making maintenance matter to all staff

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David Desportes, cosmetic repairs area manager at SD Sealants, explains how to equip staff to spot maintenance issues to ensure nothing is out of kilter when guests arrive.

How often should key components within a hotel be replaced? E.g. In a bedroom, In a restaurant, in the public spaces?

As long as the correct aftercare is taken then the key components in a bathroom, restaurant and in public spaces shouldn’t need replacing more than every 2-3 years, depending on how the customers/general public treat them. 

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Whose responsibility it is to look after the maintenance of the bedrooms?

 Keeping an eye on the day to day upkeep of bedrooms will generally fall to cleaning staff, but if any issues or wear and tear arise then a dedicated maintenance team may be required, as well as sub-contractors to carry out any larger repairs that are needed.

If a small hotel doesn’t warrant a dedicated maintenance team, how can hotels work with local ‘handymen’ businesses?

Hotels can arrange block bookings with local businesses to ensure that regular maintenance takes place. For example, every 1st and 15th of the month a repairman can pop in to carry out any jobs needed, and it’s also a good idea to hold regular meetings with subcontractors and local workmen regarding maintenance so that you can create a database of who can help, and with which jobs. The idea being that at any given time you can be sure of a quick turn-around, from inspection of a problem to completion of the repair. 

How can staff ensure they keep on top on any issues that arise?

By carrying out a regular sweep of rooms and facilities, and informing the head of facility management or maintenance team as soon as a problem is noticed. The issue can then be logged and booked in before it gets worse or, most importantly, causes a safety risk.

How often should things be tested within bedrooms? Such as showers, lights etc.

Every time a room is cleaned, a quick check should be made of lights, switches, hot water, and locks to ensure the space is safe for the next customer. Alongside this, P.A.T testing should take place at regular intervals to ensure all electricals are safe and operational. Ideally, every part of the building should be looked at once a week, unless an issue arises beforehand.

How much training can be done to ensure that housekeepers know what to spot in terms of maintenance issues? 

If you have a feeling something looks out of place, wrong or broken – it normally is. Housekeepers often know a hotel inside and out, but as a general rule we’d advise that they thoroughly look over everything they clean, change, and maintain to ensure it has not altered in any way, or gone missing, since their last inspection. 

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Zoe Monk

The author Zoe Monk

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