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Winter Weather Checklist

For Sorority Chapter Houses

Nearly every chapter facility is subject to severe winter weather. This is true not only of facilities located in Canada and the central and northern portions of the United States, but winter weather damage has occurred in areas as far south as Florida and Texas. Indeed, claim history indicates the areas that are most vulnerable to damage are the southern portions of the country because they are not accustomed to long periods of prolonged cold. For these reasons, it is important that every facility prepare in advance for the possibility of severe winter weather. The following checklist provides a starting point in developing a comprehensive plan to prevent unnecessary losses that can result from winter weather conditions.

Unattended areas inspected hourly or temperature monitored by central station?  
Concealed spaces containing piping provided with adequate heat?  
Building heat maintained at or above 55˚F for areas protected by wet pipe sprinklers?  
Should pipes freeze, is a plan in place to prepare for thawing and pipe leakage?  
In southern locations: are pipes insulated or is heat maintained in preparation for cold weather?  
Building heating systems repairs or annual maintenance scheduled before cold weather?  
Heating equipment, combustion controls, and safety devices tested for proper operation?  
Windows and doors in good repair and properly weather-sealed?  
Gutters, downspouts, and roof drains are clear?  
Roofs visually inspected for water ponding, structural deficiencies, etc.?  
Areas subject to freezing provided with non-freeze type fire extinguishers?  
Designated individuals authorized to initiate a winter weather alert?  
List of equipment containing water that is to be drained before cold weather?  
List of suppliers for portable boilers and/or heating units developed?  
Designated individual/s to check that temperatures are maintained in the facility when it is closed or un-occupied?  
Designated individual/s to leave faucets slightly open to let water flow to decrease possibility of the pipes freezing?  
Procedure established for monitoring snow depth on roofs and snow removal action plan?  
Are water-filled pipes located in exterior walls or unheated spaces properly insulated?  
Have any pipes that are not required during the winter months been drained? (e.g. exterior hose lines)  
Has any standing water in exterior valves been removed?  
Are hydrants kept free of snow, ice, and other debris for easy access by the local fire department?  
Are trees inspected to remove broken or dead branches?  
Is water flow maintained through process cooling lines and cooling towers to help prevent freeze-up and possible damage?  
Have any pipes, valves, and pumps that are not required during the winter months been drained?  

*Any box checked “no” indicates a need for correction action.