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Why bother with pre planned maintenance?

We’ve all heard the saying -  ‘If it aint broke don’t fix it.’ But if we really think about this saying, it is suggesting that reactive fixing is better than preventative fixing.

What do I mean? Well if you take a car as an example, we all have our car regularly serviced and we are governed to ensure that our car is road worthy with an annual MOT. The aim of this regular servicing is to ensure that the car is kept running and any issues can be spotted before they go wrong and that will prevent anything dangerous or expensive happening to the car, ultimately saving money and potentially life. It is completed at a regular time and can be pre booked in at a time to suit you. However if you don’t get your car serviced, then something goes wrong due to this lack of maintenance you have to take it to a garage at a time that doesn’t necessarily suit you and the cost of the works are likely to exceed that of the original service and that’s not to mention the potential dangerous position you may have ended up in due to the malfunction of the car.

Of course, I understand that things still go wrong even if a car is regularly serviced as not all elements of the car are considered in a service, and at this point reactive maintenance would be essential but there is no denying that regular servicing as a rule helps to keep cars healthy and on the road.

It the same in office maintenance, there are two main types of maintenance reactive and pre planned:

Building works and repair in LondonReactive

Reactive maintenance is often for offices that either do not opt for pre planned maintenance or who have reactive issues occur that need sorting as soon as possible. Even the most pre planned of maintenance offices cannot allow for every eventuality.

An example of this is when a bike gets knocked against a wall and leaves a paint scuff or if the mirror in the toilet gets broken, or a sink gets blocked. All of these examples require reactive maintenance and cannot be planned for.

Pre-planned maintenance

Pre-planned maintenance is when companies invest in regular servicing of key elements of their office and businesses to ensure that the risk of them going wrong is kept to a minimum.  The type of services that a company would generally consider in a pre planned maintenance scheme would be:

  • Air conditioning
  • Duct and Vent cleaning
  • Water temperature checking
  • Fixed Wire testing emergency light testing
  • Smoke and fire alarms
  • Fire Extinguishers
  • Pipe Cleaning

It is important to understand that just like a car MOT, some of these pre planned maintenance issues are legal requirements.

How do you plan pre planned maintenance and what type of schedules do you recommend.

To ensure that you remain compliant, it may be worth producing a schedule to use to ensure that you never miss anything.

For Example:



Last completed

Date due

Air Conditioning

Every 6 months



Duct and Vent cleaning

Every year



Water temperature checks

Every year



Fixed wire testing

Every 5 years



PAT testing

Every year



Smoke alarm testing

Every year



Fire alarm testing

Every year



Fire Extinguishers

Every year



Water hygiene testing

Every year



Pipes cleaned

Every Year



So, in answer to the question of why to use pre planned maintenance, the answer really is that you need to consider if you like to be the person whose car may go wrong but you are happy to take the risk and pay a bit more to repair something at possibly a time that is not convenient to you, or if you like to be the type of person who covers off every eventuality by ensuring the car wont let them down.

It’s the same in the office maintenance if you would rather understand your costs in advance and maintain your equipment regularly throughout the year at a time convenient to you then pre planned maintenance is for you, but if you would rather take the risk and wait until something goes wrong then reactive maintenance is your option.

So, next time when the Summer arrives without warning in May (as it often does in the UK) and the Air Conditioning doesn’t kick in quite as it should – just take a moment to think about this article and just maybe it will make you think about pre planned maintenance for the office.

All of this being said, paint scuffs, carpet tile replacement, floor box moves, door locks etc.. are all items that you cannot pre plan maintenance works on, so reactive maintenance will always be required in all offices for some works, but a lot of these works can be included in Handyman days when specialist trades are not required, allowing the cost to be kept to a minimum.