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Planned preventative maintenance should be carried out at regular intervals on any plant and equipment where there is a direct or indirect risk to health and safety or business continuity from a complete or partial failure.

In an office building preventative maintenance is the action of carrying out inspections and servicing of any hard services normally the fixed plant and equipment associated with the building fabric. The aim is to prolong the life of plant and equipment and prevent failures of component which may lead to breakdowns and result in associated safety risks and business continuity issues. Preventative maintenance should only be carried out by a competent person (someone with the specific trade qualification).

It is a mandatory requirement that certain plant and equipment is routinely inspected and tested to a specified standard. This will include;-

- Lifts and hoists

- Electrical installations (fixed)

- Portable appliances

- Heating systems

- Emergency Lighting

- Fire alarms

- Fire extinguishers

Some of the routine checks can be carried out by competent employees who have received adequate instruction and training. Checks should be signed and dated.
Records of all maintenance including any checks by employees must be kept.

The opposite of preventative maintenance is reactive maintenance. This form of maintenance is carried out after plant and equipment component parts have failed and should only be considered as an acceptable alternative to preventative maintenance where there is no direct or indirect risk to health and safety or business continuity.

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