Winter is around the corner and NOW is a good time for your policyholders to start preparing. That chill in the air means furnaces that have been idle for many months are turned on, space heaters are pulled out of closets, and fireplaces become active heating sources.
Here are several tips your policyholders can use to stay warm and stay safe:
- Contact a professional contractor to inspect, test and service all heating equipment.
- Have a professional "chimney sweep" inspect all chimneys and clean as needed.
- Inspect all portable heating devices for UL labeling, automatic shut-off features, heavy duty cords with a grounding plug, and for proper distance (3 feet) to any combustible material.
- Test any automatic smoke and carbon monoxide detectors to confirm proper operation.
Keeping a building warm when it's cold outside is a good way to prevent freezing pipes, including the automatic fire sprinkler system. We usually associate freezing pipes with cold climate states, but temperatures low enough to freeze or damage pipes can happen anywhere in the country. The water damage can be more severe when pipes burst in areas considered to be "warm" because proper precautions and action plans are not in place.
Here are some steps that can be taken NOW to help reduce the risk of pipes freezing and bursting:
- Provide a reliable back up power source to help ensure continuous power and heat to the building.
- Insulate and properly seal any cracks or wall penetrations, including doors and windows.
- Install a monitoring system that sends an alert if the building's temperature falls below a certain threshold.
- Install automatic detection systems to shut off water in the event a pipe bursts and water is flowing.
- Contact a fire prevention contractor to inspect the automatic sprinkler system and confirm it's adequately prepared for freezing temperatures and water flow is monitored by a central alarm station.
- Wrap insulation or heat tape on water pipes, including wet sprinkler system pipes.
- Provide UL-approved heaters in sprinkler control valve/fire pump rooms.
- Develop a plan and locate all water shut-off valves so quick action can be taken in the event of a leaking pipe.
Don't wait for that first cold weather alert to prepare for the winter months. Stay ahead of the freeze.
This informatio was provided by The Business Buzz.