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Olympian preparations required?

07 March 2013

Lee Morton, of ServiceMaster Clean London Central highlights the importance of contingency planning to minimise risks during London 2012

Lee Morton, of ServiceMaster Clean London Central highlights the importance of contingency planning to minimise risks during London 2012

Security is a key consideration when hosting a major international event, particularly one like the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games, which will bring huge crowds together at any given time.

While events like this can fall prey to large scale attacks, considerations like risk management and crowd control are most prevalent. The additional people and celebrations taking place during the Games, often including alcohol, lead to an increased risk of harm to property. Then there's the unpredictable summer weather to contend with. Flash floods and sudden downpours, or hot and humid weather can cause extensive damage to buildings.

Act fast
Using a disaster restoration service is a good way to return back to 'business as usual' in the event of property damage. Acting quickly can reduce the health risks from damaged property. For instance, long after a fire is put out, smoke damage and toxic smoke fumes can continue. Injuries can be caused from broken glass and if materials have failed to dry out properly following water damage, this can lead to moisture induced growth of mould colonies which can release allergenic spores or toxic compounds into the air.

If graffiti is allowed to remain on a property and is not promptly removed, it invites yet more markings and creates an environment which fosters a general fear of crime.

ServiceMaster Clean provides a specialist service, Restoration Response which guarantees fast response to a wide range of commercial organisations within a few hours of an emergency to start putting the property back to pre-damage condition. Registration is free, so that if an unexpected emergency occurs then help can be quickly provided. Customers registered to the scheme are guaranteed on-site service within 2-4 hours of an emergency.

The key benefits of using a specialist service are that there are no delays waiting for your insurers to appoint a supplier, whilst ensuring the restoration works are compatible with loss adjuster and insurer processes.

Monitoring events and resourcing
ServiceMaster Clean's commitment to a rapid physical response means that we are prepared with extra vehicles, staff and premises during the Olympics. As roads can easily become gridlocked, we use a range of appropriate equipment, such as easily portable, petrol run jet washers, which are quick and easy to transport.

Skilful deployment of resources and good communication together with local knowledge are key factors in ensuring that everybody gets served in their time of need. Crowd levels along with extreme weather conditions, are all monitored as part of our peak demand planning process as calls for assistance from our customers and service users can come in thick and fast during an event of this scale. Staff trained to the highest damage management standards are ready to deploy at short notice.

Communication with the Metropolitan Police and other local agencies such as Transport for London gives us insight into which areas we can actually physically get to work in, and considerations such as crime scene requirements, structural safety of properties and essentially the safety of our people all factor into the equation for planning the most effective service delivery.

How can businesses be prepared?
Remember that by taking precautions, many cases of damage to buildings can be avoided. For instance:

• Invest in security to help protect the property such as lighting and CCTV cameras.
• Monitor weather conditions and take precautionary measures
• Check for leakage in water pipes, pumps, heat / air exchange units and other system components
• Encourage staff to work from home or an alternative location to minimise overcrowding issues as roads and public transport will be much busier than normal
• Reduce the number of journeys made during the working day and, where possible, use alternative methods for meetings, like conference calls
• Visit the london2012.com website which is regularly updated with advice