Prepare Your Business for the Winter Freeze & Prevent Frozen Pipes

Property & Casualty, Risk, Small Business

The winter season brings brisk air and freezing temperatures. Damage to your business or home can occur if you’re not aware of the potential risks of the winter season, or if you don’t have the proper tools at your disposal to prevent damage. Knowledge on how to prevent interruptions, such as frozen pipes, can help reduce losses and alleviate worry.

Tips To Prevent Damage from Frozen Pipes to Your Business

Freezing temperatures can cause the failure of essential equipment. For example, icy winds and sub-freezing temperatures can freeze pipes and leave you and your business without running water for critical equipment and fire suppression. By taking early precautions, businesses can avoid disruptions.

Alarms and Sensors

  • Add leak sensors to water piping systems
  • Consider water flow detection and shutoff systems that are integrated into the piping systems that may be at risk in order to minimize damages if a water event occurs
  • Coordinate low-temperature alarms in areas where water piping systems are present and susceptible to alert necessary personnel

Note: Some carriers provide alarm and sensor resources. Check with your M3 team to see if your business can leverage resources your carrier offers to prevent frozen pipes.

Proactive Actions

  • Inspect exterior walls, windows, louvers, attics and mechanical spaces for proper insulation and seals.
  • Drain any piping not utilized during the winter months
  • Properly insulate and/or provide approved heat tracing for water-filled pipes located in exterior walls or unheated spaces.
  • Properly insulate and/or provide approved heat tracing for water-filled pipes located in exterior walls or unheated spaces.
  • Ensure that anti-freeze sprinkler systems have sufficient concentration (appropriate specific gravity readings) of antifreeze to withstand freezing weather.
  • Any branch lines on wet sprinkler systems exposed or subject to extreme cold weather should be insulated and heat traced. Electric heat tracing should be UL-listed for this specific purpose.
  • Fire pump test headers should be checked to ensure they have been properly drained.
  • Fire pump and dry-pipe sprinkler system equipment rooms should be checked routinely to ensure the heaters are in good operating condition.
  • The use of low temperature supervision can help to ensure rooms are being properly heated.

Key Takeaways

  • Assemble a proper emergency plan in preparation for a water break/leak
  • List emergency service providers in an employee handbook (including fire protection and water mitigation clean-up providers)
  • Ensure leadership on all shifts has the knowledge and tools to respond to an emergency water leak
  • Document the location and route of water control valves

Early intervention can help prevent damage to your business or home. Please contact your M3 team to learn more about potential risks this winter.

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