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Are You Winter Ready? A Guide for Facility Managers

The winter of 2017/18 saw the UK’s worst weather in years. When the Beast from the East met Storm Emma the resulting snow chaos caused deaths, disrupted travel and closed schools and hospitals across the UK.

Facility Managers tasked with keeping their property portfolios open, operational, safe and compliant need to ensure that robust plans are in place which adequately manage the UK’s winter conditions.   Amongst other factors, proposals should identify the forecasting service to be utilised, the extent of the site to be serviced, priority routes to be tackled and designated areas to remove heavy snowfall to.

Severe weather for a prolonged period can lead to salt shortages. Facility Managers with an eye to early planning and liaise with suppliers can circumvent this potential pitfall and make certain that supplies are always available.

The biggest mistake made by Facility Managers is to leave the planning and preparation until it is just too late – procedures must be prepared in advance of the extreme weather starting. Waiting until the weather forecast says ‘snow next week’ can cause your business severe operational, financial and reputational damage.

Engaging a specialist contractor can be a cost effective and efficient way to ensure you deliver what is in your site specific winter maintenance plan. It also makes sure that Facility Managers can address their obligations, ensure that the service can be tailored to suit their individual needs and ensure that both their own staff and visitors to their facility will be safe throughout the winter period.

At Tivoli, we have extensive experience in this sector, we understand the challenges that the UK winters can bring, and ensure that our clients experience the minimum disruption possible once the severe weather arrives. Tivoli holds the Met Office Gold Level for winter gritting, which guarantees that we have the most accurate and reliable forecast available to best tailor our service to meet client requirements, whilst remaining within their assigned budgets.

BEFORE WINTER CHECKLIST

❄ Develop an Action Plan, appoint a Designated Manager to implement and make sure all staff know their responsibilities
❄ Provide staff with relevant training and ensure they know what to do
❄ Prepare snow removal equipment ready for use
❄ Locate thermostats in hard to heat areas
❄ Make provision to monitor unattended facilities
❄ Prepare heating system to maintain minimum temp above 40 degrees Fahrenheit
❄ Ensure building shell is in good condition
❄ Inspect roof framework for weaknesses
❄ Provide safe emergency heating equipment in areas prone to freezing
❄ Remove debris from gutters and down pipes
❄ Close all unnecessary openings

DURING COLD WEATHER CHECKLIST

❄ Provide temporary interior openings to allow heat into concealed spaces during unusual cold snaps
❄ Consider non-freezing multipurpose fire extinguishers where cold freeze-up areas are a concern
❄ Clear roofs of ice and snow. If roof is pitched and without drains, open paths and eaves to ensure drainage and prevent ponding
❄ Drain all water-cooled equipment that is not otherwise protected when freeze is expected
❄ Frequently drain condensed moisture from compressed air lines
❄ Thaw frozen piping and equipment carefully to avoid damage. Do not use open flames to avoid a fire hazard

Call us now on 01563 548050 to find out more

or email us at breaktheice@tivoliservices.com

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