1/4/2011 12:16 AM

Winter Freezing Precautions

Too many businesses find themselves unprepared when normal winter weather suddenly turns extreme.  During a severe cold spell, sprinkler or water pipes can freeze, burst, an produce devastating losses.  Water damage from this type of incident, known as freeze-up, can affect products in storage, paperwork,, records, furniture, machinery, computers, and all types of electronic equipment.  If water leakage goes undetected for an extended period of time (say over the weekend), extensive flooding can result.  Total costs often reach hundreds of thousands of dollars.

The following guidlelines will help you plan for and implement preventive measures to better protect your business from the threats of freeze ups.

Before the Cold Sets In:

  1. Update your Emergency Response Program for winter emergencies to including appropriate response procedures for deep freeze conditions.
  2. Appoint one or more members of the team to monitor weather forecasts and initiate winter emergency procedures when appropriate.
  3. Develop procedures and priorities to be implemented when you lose heat and/or electricity.
  4. Identify equipment, and piping that contains or uses water subject to freezing.  They will need to be promptly and thoroughly drained if heat or electricity is lost. 
  5. Identify equipment that is vulnerable to freezing.

Prepare the equipment for cold weather by:

  1. Draining & Securing any idle equipment
  2. Provide adequate heat or locating the equipment in a heated enclosure or protect it with suitable antifreeze.
  3. Service the heating system before the heating season begins.  Make sure adequate supplies of alternate fuels are on hand if the system is capable of dual firing.
  4. Open any on-site fire hydrant and allow water to flow until it is clear.

During the Cold Spells:

  • Monitor temperatures every few hours in vulnerable areas
  • Provide safe, portable heaters to areas that might fall below 40 degrees
  • Provide heat or steam tracing for exterior piping that either contains liquids or needs to maintain constant temperatures
  • Use tarps to erect temporary windbreaks.

Of course Brooks Waterburn always stands ready to assist you in any loss prevention question you have contact us at 888-997-9801 or check our our website at www.brookswaterburn.com

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