Winter Weather Check-ups
The KSBIT Loss Control Team has prepared a comprehensive 51-point Winter Weather Checklist to help districts prepare school properties for cold weather.
General precautions include establishing a well-trained emergency response team and emergency action plan and designating responsibilities to ensure the plan remains in effect every year. Districts also should have a list of emergency phone numbers of weather forecasters and contractors available at all times and appoint someone within the school system to monitor daily weather reports.
Buildings must be checked for integrity. All windows, doors and skylights must be weather-tight. A certified engineer should assess roofs for snow load capacity and institute a snow removal program to help reduce snow build-up on the roofs.
If they haven’t already, staff should thoroughly examine the entire heating system, including all components - boilers, pipes, burners and controls. All deficiencies should be repaired. Although the use of space heaters is not recommended, if they must be used, district personnel should schedule complete routine inspections for all space heaters to ensure safe operation.
In terms of fire evacuations, schools should establish and review procedures to make sure snow is routinely cleared away from hydrants, sprinkler control valves, smoke and heat vents and other essential equipment, and make sure the equipment is accessible during emergencies. Also, all exits must be continuously cleared of snow and ice or any other hazards.
These are just a few basic tips to consider in preparing for winter’s harsh weather. Contact KSBIT loss-control representatives to receive and review KSBIT’s comprehensive Winter Weather Checklist.
— by Joseph L. Isaacs, KSBIT Loss Control Specialist. Contact him at 1-800-876-4552 for additional information.