Winter Weather Preparation

November 20, 2014 | News

We know that your business’ safety this winter is dependent on being prepared for whatever winter might bring. Below are a few of the steps you can take today to address the most common problems that cause property damage in winter.

Cold air in enclosed spaces

  • Visually inspect concealed spaces for gaps in wall materials; water pipes in these areas can freeze if unprotected
  • Keep these spaces warmed to at least 50° F or use certified heat tape

Sprinkler systems and related equipment

  • Keep building temperatures at 50° F for wet-pipe systems, including the enclosures housing a riser equipped with a dry pipe valve
  • Dry pipe systems should be drained at the low point prior to the onset of cold weather
  • Service and inspect all hydrants, tanks, fire dept. connections and sprinkler systems accessories before the onset of cold weather

General building protection

  • Inspect vacant buildings or unoccupied areas of the building during cold weather to be sure heating systems are functioning properly
  • Identify sources of cold air infiltration and repair leaks or seals
  • Inspect roofs to be sure they can withstand snow loads; remove snow from roofs if roof strength is in question
  • Keep gutters, downspouts and roof drains clear to avoid clogging and freezing

Preventing ice dams

  • Increase insulation above ceilings inside the building
  • Consider the use of heating cables to prevent ice dams
  • Increase ventilation in attic spaces
  • Inspect roofs for evidence of standing water (mold, mildew, vegetation) that might indicate future problems, and address the situation with a roofing contractor
  • SAFELY remove snow with a roof rake or stiff-bristled broom when ice dams have been a problem (always follow OSHA guidelines for worker safety during roof work)

Responding to a heat loss event

  • Drain any equipment that contains water that could freeze if the temperature drops
  • Investigate sources of temporary heat to be prepared for low temperatures
  • Train security or maintenance/facility personnel in how to close automatic sprinkler valves if a leak or break should occur.

 

Information provided by Hanover Risk Solutions.