Don’t Freeze! ACT NOW to Prevent Catastrophic Facilities Damage from the Arctic Plunge

By now everyone has heard about or is experiencing the record-breaking arctic blast hitting a large portion of the country. This blast is causing record-breaking lows across a large swath of the country, especially those areas that are not used to seeing below-freezing temperatures. It is critical that facilities management inspected all areas of their buildings that are vulnerable to temperatures dipping below freezing, putting their water systems in danger of catastrophic failure. Below are steps that can reduce risk and a link to a webinar previously recorded on the topic. Most importantly, it is time to act if you have not done so already.

  1. Keep areas well heated especially in rarely used areas. The temperature should not drop below 55 degrees in the coldest interior areas.
  2. Complete building inspections before a school break to check for wall penetrations that could allow the cold in. Check all windows to make sure they are indeed closed and undamaged.
  3. Inspect insulation to make sure it is in a place where it is supposed to be and in good condition.
  4. Identify vulnerable pipes that may have frozen but not broken in past cold snaps and take steps to prevent them from freezing.
  5. Identify all water shut-off valves and make sure they can be easily located in case they need to be shut down QUICKLY if there is a break.
  6. Obtain space heaters and use where there may be a weakness in heating certain zones taking into account not to create a separate risk with a misplaced heater that could cause a fire or if using gas, does not cause a dangerous carbon monoxide buildup.
  7. Run water through pipes which makes it more difficult to freeze. Allow water to drip.
  8. If possible drain water pipes prior to the break, making sure not to affect water feeding heating systems or automatic fire response systems.
  9. Have someone complete rounds in each building at least twice per day to make sure there are no issues relating to security or cold temperatures.

For additional information please refer to our recent webinar:

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