In recent years many schools have suffered loss or damage to their property (including the contents contained therein) arising from weather related events.
In addition to the financial cost associated with losses of this nature, significant disruption to the activities of the Schools are often encountered. In many instances the losses could have been prevented or reduced by the implementation of good loss prevention measures. We set out some basic Loss Prevention measures which can be implemented with minimal cost but which could greatly reduce your susceptibility to a Weather related loss.
Frost and Freeze Protection
During periods of severe or prolonged cold weather:
Maintain heat in the Building
Fit Frost Thermostats and ensure that they are correctly set, i.e. 35°F or 2°C if located indoors, or 32°F or 0°C if outdoors. These will automatically activate your heating system once the ambient temperature drops to 2 degrees Celsius or below
Remember to protect your oil supply against freezing. This may happen if temperatures of 12°F or -9°C prevail. The oil supply pipe can be protected with weather-proof insulation and a tarpaulin cover will provide emergency protection to the tank
Leave internal doors open to protect unheated or poorly heated compartments, but always subject to applicable fire safety rules and regulations. Make sure all radiators are on
If air vents in the boiler room are closed off, leave sufficient opening to allow an adequate supply of air for combustion
If heat is not to be maintained to a building no longer in use, then the water supply should be isolated and all sanitary and domestic water services drained
Make sure all exposed pipes are properly lagged/insulated to at least 19mm along their entire length, including all joints and corners
Make sure that all tanks in the attic space are fully lagged on all sides (excluding the underneath) to at least 80mm standard
Inline pumps and automatic shut off valves can provide invaluable back-up protection if your heating system fails or has been inadvertently switched off.
Ensure that School grounds are safe and fit for use. As a minimum clear a pathway up to the entrance of the School and maintain that pathway over the period of freezing.
Storms have always been a feature of Irish weather and while it is not possible to prevent the happening of a weather event, there are measures which you can take to help reduce the nature and extent of any ensuing damage to your Property:
Clean out gutters, down pipes, drains and shores of leaves, dirt and debris on a regular basis
Keep tree branches trimmed to prevent them from overhanging buildings
Have trees that are close enough to fall onto buildings or parking areas checked regularly. Where warranted have trees trimmed or removed by a qualified tree removal service
Check for broken, damaged or loose tiles and have them repaired where necessary
Check the flashing around skylights, vent pipes and any other projections where a roof covering meets an adjoining surface
Check to ensure that flagpoles or other projections are secure and that fixings are in good condition and free from rust
Repair any damaged gutters or down pipes and check their supports.
Ensure grounds are kept clear of loose materials and rubbish that may blow about and cause damage.
There is not always time to prepare for a flood, however if you do receive an advance warning there are a number of actions you can take to minimise your exposure:
Raise to higher ground (upstairs or on worktops) furniture, appliances or other items that may be damaged by direct contact with water for an extended period
Move vehicles, valuables or other items to safety
Put sandbags or flood boards in place (remember when the flooding is over to make sure your property is properly ventilated)
Plug sinks/baths and put sandbags in all toilet bowls to prevent backflow
If possible clear blocked drains
Be ready to turn off gas and electricity supplies (get help if necessary)
Never unplug or disconnect electric appliances or try to turn off the electricity supply if you have to stand in water or on a wet floor or surface to do so
Don’t enter basements or any room if water covers electric cables that are plugged in or if water covers electric outlets
Keep a flashlight and spare batteries in an accessible place
If required to do so, exit your property with care, as submerged debris could cause you to trip or fall.