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Pandemic Response and the Temporary Closing of Dealerships

Car Dealership

Below are some recommended steps, considerations, and tips to help keep your dealerships safe and secure during their temporary closure. Note that this is an inclusive but not exhaustive list of recommendations.

Building/Lot/Off-Site Compound Protection

  • Lighting Levels - Ensure lighting levels throughout are adequate, in good working condition, and operational from dusk to dawn. 
  • Protect Lot Perimeter/Use of Blocker Vehicles - The lot perimeter should be protected by means such as posts and gates, posts and chains, landscaping boulders, 12-inch curbs, or a combination of these measures. In the interim, vehicles should be parked in such a manner as to restrict access on and through the lot.
  • Storage of High-Value/Target Vehicles - Park all high-valued/target vehicles inside the dealership if possible. If not, position them in such a way that they are located away from the perimeter of the lot and preferably protected by lower-value vehicles.
  • Storage of Vehicles Targeted for Component Theft - Park vehicles that may be targeted for component theft (e.g. catalytic convertors, wheels, tailgates) towards the interior of the lot and/or surround them with vehicles with a lower ground clearance. This makes access, even by crawling underneath the vehicles, more difficult.
  • Checking Lot Inventory/Live Security - It is important that lot inventories be taken daily and live patrols are in place to notice anything out of the ordinary. Provide security the most up-to-date contact information for facility management, information technology contacts, and management contacts.
  • Camera Surveillance - All cameras should be fully functional and remotely viewable via laptop or cellular device. If fixed surveillance equipment is not installed, temporarily install an off-the-shelf, battery-powered, Wi-Fi capable system. Also, make sure any intrusion detection alerts available with your video surveillance system are turned on. The cameras should be mounted to be both effective and visible, and should be heavily advertised throughout the lots.
  • Landscaping Maintenance - The landscaping should be maintained so as not to interfere or obstruct cameras or lighting. Trees, shrubbery, or other items, which could be used to scale fences should be removed or trimmed.
  • Tire/Parts Storage/Gate Padlocks - Shipping containers in the dealership lot containing parts or customer tires as well as the gates that control access to the lots should be secured with substantial padlocks — preferably a "hockey puck" style padlock with a hardened, solid steel body and a shackle-less design to provide protection against bolt cutters. An alternative would be the installation of a hasp or an enclosure for the existing padlock, constructed of heavy gauge steel and welded to the actual structure. It is further recommend that this be implemented at two locations on the container at minimum, but installation at all four locking positions would be ideal. An alternative would be to block the doors of all shipping containers with vehicles (plow trucks, parts trucks, shuttle vehicles, etc.), preventing access, even if the lock is bypassed.
  • Keys and Dealer Plates - Keys and dealer plates should never be left in or on vehicles. Staff should be instructed to leave vehicles locked and remove keys and dealer plates to an inside storage location.
  • Key Storage - All vehicle keys and dealer plates should be placed in a locked cabinet/safe/key room/electronic key machine inside the dealership. No keys or dealer plates should be visible to the public (e.g. on desks, counters, or open key boards).
  • Intrusion/Fire Alarm System - Ensure security and fire alarm systems are functioning properly and connected to two independent communications mediums (e.g. radio, cellular, digital communicator, etc.) that can alert your third party monitoring agency.
  • Drainage Systems - Ensure all drainage systems are fully functional and drain outlets are clear of obstructions. This includes systems in elevator pits, basements, roof drains, and other low-level areas. 
  • Rodent/Pest Control - Ensure all rodent and pest control measures are current and in place.
  • Building Protection - Turn-off power to all overhead doors and if possible, secure all entrances with blocker vehicles.

Fire Prevention and Response

  • Ensure fire suppression and alarm/detection systems are operational and able to transmit to your third party monitoring agency. Also, check that all fire pumps are in "auto" mode, and run timers are disabled.
  • Suspend fire protection/detection system inspection, testing, and maintenance activities that impair the operation of systems. Only critical/emergency repairs should be completed and the system impairment notification process should be followed.
  • Maintain heat at a minimum of 4°C (40°F) within all facilities that use water-based fixed fire suppression and domestic water systems. 
  • Perform no "hot work” in the facility unless it is vital to emergency repairs. If hot work needs to take place, ensure appropriate hot work permitting procedures are in place and followed, including post-work fire watch.
  • Ensure fire extinguishers are functional and posted evacuation plans are up-to-date for essential personnel required to operate on-site.
  • Ensure all fire doors are closed.

Miscellaneous Items

  • Test and maintain emergency power systems.
  • Unplug any unnecessary appliances/equipment (e.g. coffee makers, vending machines, battery chargers) as well as any power bars in use for non-essential equipment.
  • Ensure roof drains are free of obstructions and free flowing.

For more information on loss control, please contact your Marsh Risk Consulting representative:

Sathyan (Sath) Laloo
416 200 0943 | Fax: 416 349 4564

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