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Winter weather - ice storms - power failures: plan ahead

TheAdvisors@GuthrieInsurance.com

Preparation

  • Check heating systems ahead for proper operation and service as needed.
  • Have a plan to know how to respond to a lengthy power failure and loss of heat.
  • Have a plan ready for keeping drains clear and removing excessive snow loads from the roof.
  • Line up appropriate licensed sprinkler contractors, plumbing contractors and electricians, in the event of need.

Protection

When a power failure disrupts the delivery of heat for several hours to several days and the temperature in the building falls below 0.

  • Shut off and completely drain all fire sprinkler systems.
  • Notify the local fire department and alarm company that you have shut off your fire sprinkler system(s).
  • Drain fire sprinklers installed on suspended ceiling areas especially over valuable items and equipment.
  • Turn off automatic diesel fire pumps and start manually to conserve fuel.
  • Shut down hazardous operations, such as welding and torch cutting, while sprinklers are off.
  • Provide a constant fire watch of trained personnel for all areas while the sprinklers are off.
  • Shut off and completely drain the domestic water and heating piping systems.
  • Operate portable heating systems in accordance with safe use and manufacturer instructions.
  • Follow manufacturer’s instructions in operating emergency generators, installed by licensed electricians.
  • Clear all roof drains, gutters and scuppers.
  • Clear snow and ice from roof (if done safely) if there is a roof/building collapse potential.

Recovery

  • After the event is over and the power restored:
  • Inspect and repair all fire sprinkler, domestic water and heating system piping before restoring them to service.
  • Keep around the clock surveillance even after restoring for additional damage as piping begins to thaw.
  • Do not use open flames, lamps or other high temperature devices to thaw frozen pipes.
  • Restore all fire sprinkler, domestic water and heating system piping to service.
  • Notify the fire department and the alarm company that the systems are back in service.
  • Maintain the weather watch. Watch for rainstorms which can cause pooling and collapse.
  • Take measures to ensure all roof drainage is in service.
  • Watch for post storm drifting on roofs and remove the extra weight, if this can be done safely.
  • Clear fire lanes, fire hydrants, fire sprinkler valves, process valves, gas shutoffs, etc of snow accumulations.
  • esume normal safe operations.

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