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Winter Weather Property Protection

Cold weather freeze-ups can cause vital fire protection systems to malfunction. Cold temperatures can cause sprinkler piping to burst resulting in major water damage to buildings, contents, and equipment. Pipes bursting can also impair automatic sprinkler systems and leave a major portion of your facility without fire protection. A fire during this situation may result in a major interruption to your business and a huge loss.

In the interest of preventing water damage claims for your property, designated key personnel should be aware of freeze protection and emergency preparedness procedures. Utilize the Winter Weather Precautions Checklist to assist with your risk control program.

Best Practices include:

Building temperature should be monitored, documented, and maintained at 55° F or higher

Perform freeze protection inspections and be cognizant of shutdown procedures

Have a contingency plan with contractors and suppliers

Pre-emergency planning for fire, water damage, and snow removal should be established

Boilers, furnaces, heaters, and flues should be serviced regularly

24 hour building surveillance

Enforce a no smoking policy

Safeguard flammable or combustible liquids

Water Supplies

Tanks should not leak and pressure should be checked

Water temperature should remain at 42°F or above

Check fire hydrants for proper drainage by outside contractor or water department

Buried sprinkler control valves and valve pits should be marked in the event of heavy snowfall

Fire pump room should not drop below 70°F

Post indicator valve, OS&Y valve, and test header to pump inspected regularly

Wet Pipe Sprinkler Systems

All areas of buildings with sprinkler systems should maintain a temperature of 40°F or above

Cold weather valves should be closed while all others remain open

Windows, skylights, and doors should be in good condition and sealed tightly

Check temperatures with thermometer

Dry Pipe Systems

Dry lines should be checked for proper drainage so trapped water doesn't cause breakage

Check drains located in cold places for freezing

Dry-valve clapper should be properly set with temperature maintained at 40°F or above

Low air pressure alarms should be provided, calibrated and connected to constantly
attended locations

Low pressure switches should be set at 5 psi which is above trip point of dry pipe valve

Air pressure checked regularly with records maintained to indicate normal pressure

Air drying equipment available to supply air to system as designed

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