• Chris Dowler, FMP


Programming maintenance is simple and cost-effective.

Lack of a routine and scheduled maintenance program negatively impacts the fiscal health of the organization and the environmental health of the facility - both directly affect profitability or the effective delivery of services. When maintenance is neglected, operating costs increase, and asset lives shorten.

Identifying pertinent components.

Pertinent components are usually life safety-based or mechanical-based. Furniture, fixtures, and equipment (FFE) are usually excluded.

Programming maintenance is easier if a facility condition assessment has previously been performed. This will identify all of the different components of the different systems which comprise the facility.

To drill down in greater depth, the information gleaned from creating an asset register will be even more informative.

Or, start simply – presuming that you have neither of these documents – by walking the facility and identifying different components. This could include smoke detectors; fire extinguishers; emergency lights; exit lights; HVAC systems; water heaters; fire sprinkler systems; elevators; etc.

Ideally, squirreled away some place, are the original installation instructions and operating & maintenance (O&M) manuals. More likely, that information is long gone.

You can ask your main mechanical vendors (electrician, plumber, and HVAC service company) to help you identify the components and the make / model numbers.

Research the maintenance requirements.

Simply search engine the component, such as “carbon dioxide extinguisher maintenance”, and a wealth of information will appear. Simply write down the frequency of requirements (weekly, monthly, quarterly, semi-annually, and / or yearly) and move on to the next component.


After identifying the components and their requisite maintenance requirements, create a separate spreadsheet by system with all of your components. Include name of the asset, manufacturer, model number, serial number (if appropriate), manufacture date and / or install date, and location.

With these sheets, vendors can be contacted for maintenance service agreements. Maintenance can also be scheduled to ensure that inspections / maintenance is conducted in a timely manner.


While developing a programmed maintenance system will probably result in increased operating costs initially, savings should be realized through code-compliance, improved risk management, improved operability of equipment, increased reliability of systems, improved budgeting capabilities, and improved productivity of staff. It will also move the facility from constant, expensive, reactive maintenance to controllable, proactive maintenance.


Chris Dowler, FMP

Founder and Owner

Dowler Construction Services

a strategic facility solutions firm

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