Winter weather preparation
Questions to ask
Before winter temperatures set in, ask the following questions and be prepared. Making sure that everything is in shape now will reduce costs for repairs and property damage claims.
- Is the heating system up and running properly?
- Are pipes well insulated? Make sure ends join tightly and joints are wrapped and taped. Heated cables or tapes that heat pipes should be professionally installed.
- Are all buildings inspected regularly? Maintain an inspection schedule for facilities especially when buildings are not occupied.
- Have hidden problem spots been checked? Look for pipes that may not be properly insulated, windows, doors or other openings that are not secure.
- Do you know where to find the shutoff valves? Make sure staff knows where to shut off water in an emergency.
- Are flow alarms installed? Alarms that sound when flow exceeds normal levels alert staff.
- Do you have backup power and heat in the event of a power outage? Make sure generators are working correctly. Use only Fire Marshal approved alternative heat sources.
- Do thermostats need new batteries? Replace batteries and set minimum temperatures at 55 degrees or more.
It is important to inspect buildings regularly for any signs of damage. Having a routine monthly facilities maintenance plan and a checklist will help spot trouble when it occurs.
Checklists provide a more in-depth look at what steps are necessary to winterize your facilities. Being prepared can mean the difference between having your facilities up and running in good condition versus showing up to work and seeing water running out of the front door and having to scramble to determine the problem.
PACE offers two winter checklists to assist members in checking property before cold weather (153k) and during cold weather (156k).
Remember to take extra time and use caution when working and traveling during winter weather events.