Christmas can be the busiest time of year for some businesses. This month we feature Father ‘Owen’ Christmas, no stranger to the pressures of dealing with critical workloads and deadlines during this festive period.
So, Father Christmas, this is a busy time of year for you! You have a lot of visits to do, how do you tend to access properties?
Well traditionally down chimneys but obviously building designs have changed so, where chimneys aren’t available, roof access doors, hatches on flat roofs, goods entrances, whatever makes most sense.
So what maintenance issues impede you at this time of year?
Well, obviously dirty chimneys are a problem but also blocked gutters and drainage can cause standing water on roofs which can not only cause damage and ingress but covers me and the reindeer in water when we land. It’s always worth cutting away overhanging branches that can drop leaves and clearing gutters at this time of year.
Another thing that I’ve noticed is that many roofs with roof access still don’t have safety barriers round them. This is something that is normally picked up in Health and Safety assessments. When it’s dark and I’m rushing from place to place, if Rudolph’s nose isn’t at it’s best it’s very easy for me to walk off the edge of buildings.
Also, remember to check car parks and the pavements around buildings for small holes and cracks, as these can become large pot holes if water enters and freezes. In fact we landed in a car park outside London last year and nearly missed our North America visit as we broke a runner due to a pot hole. The previous year I tripped on a raised paving stone on my way into a building. Very real heath and safety issue when on a tight timetable, as I am on the 25th of December each year.
Anything else to add ?
I’ve obviously got my eyes on the kids at this time of year, assessing who’s been good and reflecting that in the presents that they get. For adults it is important to pay your invoices on time before the holidays to maximise your present returns!
Thank you Mr Christmas and let’s hope everyone does their bit to help you do your job efficiently this year!