Nonprofit Facilities Risk Management- Philadelphia Insurance Companies

Facilities Risk Management: What Non-Profits Need to Know

Whether it's their property, a building they rent, or a home office, all non-profits have facilities they must manage.

To fulfill their mission well and cost-effectively, it's important that the facilities non-profits utilize meet their needs and are safe. It's also crucial that time, attention, and funds aren't used for fixing problems that could have been prevented with proper facilities risk management.

Philadelphia Insurance Companies (PHLY) understands the importance of a non-profit risk management plan and provides tools and resources non-profit organizations need to protect their facilities.

Risks to Non-Profit Facilities

Non-profit organizations face many of the same risks at their facilities as other organizations, including:

Slips, trips, and falls: These are the primary driver of non-profit personal injury claims from clients, third parties, or employees. However, non-profit organizations can prevent these incidents from occurring. For example, perhaps your current budget doesn't allow for repaving an entire parking lot or replacing a sidewalk. Is it possible to address smaller sections for repair? Can warning cones be placed in areas prone to moisture or ice buildup? Many slips, trips, and falls happen shortly after someone enters the building. Are there an adequate number of mats positioned at the entrance? This simple and cost-effective measure can significantly reduce the risk of injuries resulting from falls for individuals entering your facility.

Water infiltration, wind/hail damage, and fire: These are consistently the top three issues driving property damage losses. Non-profit organizations that regularly conduct roof inspections will be less affected by hail events. To manage your facilities' risk of fire, your organization should have a policy related to portable space heaters, such as requiring they be UL listed and in good condition. The policy should also state that the space where they are kept must be free from combustible materials. Space heaters should also have automatic shutoffs if they're tipped over.

Scalding: For non-profits that provide residential services for vulnerable people, scalding is a very serious risk. It's important to make sure hot water heaters or boilers are kept below 120 degrees Fahrenheit. However, water heaters or temperature gauges may become less precise over time, so even though you may set your temperature level at 119 degrees, the temperature may not be accurate. A regular thermometer should be used consistently to test water coming from the tap, shower, or tub. A mixing valve is another option that can ensure the water coming out of the tap doesn't exceed the temperature you've chosen.

Vehicle damage: Parking lot incidents or accidents are the top driver of vehicle damage at a non-profit organization's facility. Check if your parking lot is clearly painted and striped. Large concrete posts known as bollards can help keep vehicles from coming too close to a walkway or building. When your facility changes the clocks every year, check whether the trees in your parking lot have any branches that are cracking or starting to sag.

Building securement: Common non-profit facility losses occur from elopement (a child or vulnerable adult leaving the property), break-ins, or theft resulting from lack of building securement. If your organization has elopement risk, your facility's exterior doors should have alarms, which should be tested regularly. Deadbolting or padlocking exit doors can be a risk because they can keep people from exiting easily and safely during an emergency. Non-profits should work with their PHLY risk management consultant or their local fire department if they have any questions about whether doors should be locked in a particular manner. If windows are accessible three feet from floor level or lower, and children are in the building, special window securements should be used to make sure they can't fall out or crawl out of the window.

Supervision: Unfortunate incidents typically occur at non-profit facilities when there is inadequate supervision on site. This lapse can be addressed through very simple measures like line of sight, security cameras, or mirrors. You should also restrict access to certain areas unless you can have someone physically in that area to monitor.

Creating a Non-Profit Facilities Risk Management Plan

Sound facilities risk management practices help non-profits guard against unwanted surprises and minimize the impact of accidents. When accidents do occur, non-profits can focus on their true mission of serving their constituents.

Here are a few critical facilities risk management steps non-profits can take:

  • Understand and maintain your facilities' overall preventive maintenance schedule.
  • Regularly schedule self-inspections and engage with third parties in other needed inspections, including those conducted by the insurance company, fire department, or health department.
  • Set aside funds in your budget for facility repairs or replacements.
  • Learn from experience, whether it's your own claims or losses, those of another organization, or your insurer.

The PHLY Difference

PHLY provides non-profit insurance for a variety of non-profit organization facilities, including:

  • Adult Day Cares
  • Animal Shelters
  • For-Profit Substance Abuse Organizations
  • Public Medical Clinics
  • Section 8 Housing Projects
  • 100% Scattered Housing Sites

In addition to our policies, our non-profit policyholders have access to experts who can assist with their facilities risk management needs. We also offer a variety of risk management tools, such as:

  • PHLYSENSE, a water and temperature sensing device that alerts organizations if freezing temperatures are approaching or the sensor encounters water.
  • Access to the Non-profit Risk Management Center, where non-profits can build a customized risk management plan, do an online risk assessment, and find specific loss prevention tips for your facility.

Download your free Non-Profit Insurance eBook today and discover how PHLY is committed to supporting the non-profit sector.

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