Backup Generators for Commercial BuildingsFor many businesses, backup generators are an investment worth making. Winter is fast approaching and the threat of bad weather is right around the corner. Power outages are happen a lot in the Washington, D.C., metropolitan area.

Types of Commercial Building Backup Generators

Commercial buildings over 3 floors must have a standby backup generator in the state of Maryland. The code calls for an emergency generator for specific locations where you must maintain power at all times, like:

  • Airports
  • Government buildings
  • Nuclear power plants
  • Hospitals
  • Nursing Homes

Generators are fueled by natural gas or diesel. Importantly they are equipped with an automatic transfer switch (ATS). To clarify, the ATS cuts power to the main utility grid, and the switch prompts the generator. When the power is restored to the main grid, the ATS reverses the power back to normal.

Maintaining Backup Generators

In fact Regular inspections and maintenance will keep your backup generator ready. Whether manual or automatic. Failing to maintain your backup generator properly could significantly reduce its lifespan. Preventing it from working when the power goes out.

The Importance of Preventative Maintenance

Nonetheless, having a preventative maintenance plan in place will ensure your maintenance team adheres to guidelines and regulations. These regulations are set forth by the state or local authority. Only qualified, trained staff should perform tests and maintenance using the proper tools.

Without a doubt weekly inspections should be performed with monthly tests to ensure the generator will work when called on. Here is a sample preventative maintenance plan for commercial building backup generators.


  • Conduct a visual inspection, remove any leaves, foliage, critters, snow, or anything else that could interfere when the generator is running
  • Check for enclosure integrity, and generator set to “Auto.”
  • Check all coolants, fuels, and oils to ensure and maintain them at proper levels
  • Run the generator and fix any problems that arise


  • Check belts and hoses for wear and tear
  • Inspect battery and charging systems
  • Check fuel tank, remove sediment or water if needed


  • Check ignition, replace spark plugs
  • Change all filters and fluids


  • Load test and solve problems
  • Recondition diesel fuel if needed
  • Service all external components

How Can BMSI Help?

BMSI in Washington, D.C., offers maintenance and building engineering staff to building owners and managers. Our full-time staff is your solution to temporary needs, like creating a backup generator maintenance plan. Long term, our maintenance team can execute the maintenance plan to ensure it’s running efficiently and ready if a power outage occurs in your commercial building.

Why hire an employee when you don’t have to? The mobile engineering force at BMSI is waiting for deployment to your commercial building. Our goal is optimization and efficiency while saving you money on staffing. Finally, Contact us today to learn the BMSI difference and how we can build better together.