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How to Trim Work Orders During Holiday Season

A person in a Santa suit wearing a toolbelt, focused on the toolbelt

By Jerry L’Ecuyer, Buffalo Maintenance and Paul Rhodes, NAAEI

'Tis the season for more resident work-orders related to the holidays. Here are five ways to stay ahead of the game:

Check the oven

Maintenance technicians are recommended to check each stove and oven for proper operation. Many residents use their ovens only during this time of year. Blown-out pilot lights are often the cause for a non-working stove. Have tips for working a self-cleaning oven handy—or pass them out ahead of the season.

Do some preemptive plumbing

This time of year sees a higher-than-normal use of the plumbing so it may be a good idea to snake out or hydro jet the community’s main plumbing lines. 

Send out disposal reminders

Sending a note to each resident about the proper use of the garbage disposal could help reduce work orders. Note what residents should and should not put down the disposal unit. Items to include banana peels, potato skins, coffee grounds and any stringy food. Also, remind them to turn on the cold water (more effective than hot water) before using the disposer and to put small amounts of food in the disposal at a time. Instruct residents to not use the disposer as a trash can, turning it on only when full, because it will clog. 

Beware of decorations

When inside a resident’s apartment, pay attention to lights on holiday decorations for possible dangers (tripping hazard, overheating and/or overload).

Communicate clearly

Alert residents about holiday office hours, package handling policies and give them a refresher about what meets the definition of a maintenance emergency.