What's Your Disaster Recovery Plan?

We’ve all heard of the phrase ‘Hope for the best, plan for the worst’, right?

Well that couldn’t be more prevalent in today’s world. It’s what inspired me to write our first blog post. 

If your existing boiler plant is either coming towards the end of it’s life or is showing signs of malfunctioning, a disaster recovery plan will provide complete peace of mind.

Whilst disaster recovery plans cover a wide spectrum of facilities and technology, the focus of this article will be on heating and hot water. That’s not to say that some of the principles will not be applicable to other facilities or services that your business relies on, in order to operate efficiently. 

At the very least, I want to be able to encourage discussion around this topic, whilst providing some thought provoking tips.   

What's Your Disaster Recovery Plan?

Implications of not having a disaster recovery plan

  1. Loss of revenue. 
  2. Damage to your reputation.
  3. Damage to your client’s reputation.
  4. Incurring additional, unplanned costs.
  5. Potentially damaging to the occupants health.

Questions that you should consider

  1. Is there an existing disaster recovery plan in place and when was the last time you engaged with your supplier and organised a site survey? Disaster recovery plans can quickly become out of date. We recommend organising a site survey at least twice a year. 
  2. What does heating and hot water failure mean to your business?
  3. What will the impact be on you or your client’s reputation?
  4. Could there be health implications to occupants (particularly relevant to the care home sector).
  5. Is your boiler purchased and the warranty still valid? If so, check your service level agreement for how quickly an engineer can be dispatched.
  6. If you’re renting a boiler, does your current supplier provide details surrounding response times within their service levels agreement?
  7. In cases of complete boiler failure, do you have a temporary boiler disaster recovery plan in place with a trusted supplier? Again, what are the response times within that service level agreement? 

What’s the difference between a contingency plan and a disaster recovery plan?

A business contingency plan will cover multiple scenarios that could pose a significant risk to a business. They are developed to explore and prepare for any eventuality that can have a detrimental impact on a business. There should be a clear communication system, identification of roles and responsibilities of key employees and/or personnel and the recovery and response time thresholds.

A disaster recovery plan provides specific details and procedures for the recovery and operation of critical business continuity systems, which can include HVAC. Each business continuity system will have its own disaster recovery plan to mitigate downtime and possible damage to the business. 

What does a disaster recovery plan consist of?

Your disaster recovery plan, specifically for boiler plant/s should consist of two major points:

  1. Access to an existing engineer with a service level agreement in place.
  2. An agreement in place with a company that specialises in temporary boiler hire.

If the boiler system is showing signs of malfunctioning, can it be fixed on-site by an engineer? This is the first and often most logical question you should consider. The engineer will be able to perform diagnostics of the boiler to understand why it malfunctioned and whether or not it can be fixed relatively quickly.

If the boiler is unable to be repaired, you can then action your disaster recovery plan that’s in place with your temporary boiler hire partner.

How to create a disaster recovery plan

Speak to a temporary boiler specialist about their disaster recovery plans. They will provide valuable insight into their procedures and the options available. You can explore Rapid Energy’s disaster recovery plans here.

Once you have chosen a supplier, the very first step should be arranging for them to conduct a detailed site survey. This is a critical step in the process and provides vital time saving information about where a temporary boiler can be landed, the capacity of the boiler that’s required, amongst other essential information. As mentioned previously, a site survey should be conducted at least twice a year, just in case changes have occurred to the premises. A detailed site survey will allow the temporary boiler company to react far quicker, saving valuable time in the delivery and commissioning of the required boiler.

Depending on the temporary boiler hire company, your plant and accessories can be ring fenced, ensuring complete peace of mind the kit will be available, if you should ever need it.      

Rapid Energy is a new company, full of enthusiasm and energy to plan for the future and learn from previous experiences. During our startup phase, contingency and disaster recovery planning to help customers to recover as quickly as possible, was high up on the agenda. Naturally, this has also made us think very carefully about our own IT systems and infrastructure and contingencies, something that’s often overlooked with startups.

If you have questions or need assistance with your disaster recovery planning for boiler failure, speak to a member of our team today on 0800 464 7025

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