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If You’re Putting Out Fires All Day, This One Thing Is Missing.

As a Facility Manager, your days are likely filled with a long list of tasks, from managing maintenance schedules to overseeing cleaning operations and ensuring the safety and security of occupants. However, if you find yourself constantly putting out fires and dealing with unexpected emergencies, there may be a crucial element missing from your facility management strategy. In this article, we’ll explore the importance of proactive planning and preventative maintenance in minimizing emergencies and creating a more efficient and effective facility management process.

The Problem with Reactive Management

Reactive management, or the practice of addressing issues as they arise, can be a major drain on time, resources, and productivity. When facility managers are constantly in firefighting mode, they’re forced to allocate precious resources towards resolving immediate problems, often at the expense of long-term planning and preventative measures.

1. Increased Costs

Putting out fires all day can lead to skyrocketing costs, as emergency repairs and last-minute solutions are often more expensive than planned maintenance activities. From emergency contractor fees to the cost of replacing damaged equipment or infrastructure, reactive management can take a significant toll on your facility’s budget.

2. Decreased Productivity

Constantly dealing with emergencies can disrupt the flow of operations within your facility, leading to decreased productivity and efficiency. When staff members are constantly dealing with unexpected issues, they have less time to focus on their primary responsibilities, resulting in delays and missed deadlines.

3. Safety Risks

Neglecting preventative maintenance can pose serious safety risks for occupants within your facility. From malfunctioning equipment to hazardous conditions such as electrical faults or structural weaknesses, failing to address potential issues proactively can jeopardize the well-being of those who rely on your facility.

4. Reputation Damage

Repeated emergencies and disruptions can damage your facility’s reputation and erode trust among occupants, tenants, and stakeholders. A facility that is known for constant issues and maintenance problems may struggle to attract and retain tenants, leading to financial and operational challenges in the long run.

The Solution: Proactive Planning and Preventative Maintenance

The key to breaking free from the cycle of reactive management is to prioritize proactive planning and preventative maintenance. By taking a proactive approach to facility management, you can identify potential issues before they escalate into emergencies, saving time, money, and headaches in the process.

1. Conduct Regular Inspections

Regular inspections are a cornerstone of preventative maintenance, allowing you to identify and address potential issues before they become emergencies. Schedule routine inspections of equipment, infrastructure, and facilities to catch problems early and implement timely repairs or replacements.

2. Develop a Comprehensive Maintenance Plan

Create a comprehensive maintenance plan that outlines scheduled maintenance tasks, inspections, and repairs. Assign responsibilities to staff members or external contractors and establish clear protocols for addressing maintenance issues promptly.

3. Invest in Technology

Harness the power of technology to streamline your facility management processes and improve efficiency. Facilities management software can help you track maintenance tasks, schedule inspections, and generate reports, making it easier to stay organized and proactive in your approach.

4. Prioritize Training and Education

Invest in training and education for your staff members to ensure they have the skills and knowledge necessary to identify and address maintenance issues effectively. Provide ongoing training on equipment operation, safety protocols, and best practices in facility management.

5. Foster a Culture of Proactivity

Encourage a culture of proactivity among your team members by emphasizing the importance of preventative maintenance and early intervention. Recognize and reward staff members who identify and address potential issues before they escalate, reinforcing the value of proactive planning.


If you find yourself constantly putting out fires all day, it’s time to take a step back and reevaluate your facility management approach. By prioritizing proactive planning and preventative maintenance, you can minimize emergencies, reduce costs, and create a safer, more efficient facility for occupants and stakeholders. Embrace a proactive mindset, invest in technology and training, and develop a comprehensive maintenance plan to break free from the cycle of reactive management and create a more sustainable future for your facility.