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Winter weather – ice storms – power failures: plan ahead of time

Prepare Yourself
– 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. – 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 manufacturers 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. – Resume normal safe operations.   Advisors@Aaxel Insurance Brokers Ltd.

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