Posted on 11/10/2015

By Lora Mays, Product Marketing Manager

With a few states seeing snow already, Old Man Winter’s arrival is inevitable. Whether you manage a hospital or manufacturing facility, it’s important that you  prepare for winter weather while ensuring the comfort and safety of those that frequent the location. The following are five tips to ensure you are ready for winter weather at your facility.

Inspect your heating and cooling systems

Most of the energy costs that a building generates during the winter months is because of heating. Inspect your HVAC systems to ensure that they are able to handle the demands of the colder months, which in turn will help lower heating costs and protect your facility from outages.

In addition, check the facility to see if there are problem areas where heated air may be escaping. Search for drafts or leaks, and find ways to fix these before winter is in full force. It’s also important to evaluate your gas lines; for facilities that rely on gas heat, a clogged or corroded gas line can result in a freezing building for occupants.

Prep for snow

If you live in a climate that’s bound to have snow, prepare your team by making sure you have a snow removal plan in place, both for the parking lots and around your entrances. Keeping these areas dry and free of ice helps prevent slips and falls – a key worry during the winter season. In addition, it’s important to do so without sacrificing the health of the facility.

Absorbable rugs, for instance, provides traction for people walking near entrances and exits to minimize slips and falls. They also serve as a good way to prevent extra moisture from being brought inside, which can cause damage to the floors over time.

Brush up on your emergency plan

Are you prepared for a snowstorm? Or an ice storm? Now is the perfect time to take a look tat your emergency plan and make sure you are prepared for whatever the winter weather may bring.

In reviewing your emergency plan, make sure you have the right supplies and that your equipment has been maintained appropriately. In addition, review your vendor list – many of them may only be called upon in the event of an emergency. If that’s the case, make sure you have the latest certificates of insurance (COIs) on file and are able to leverage them if needed.

Be ready for power outages

Winter weather inevitably means power outages, so this is another clear area to prepare for as we face winter weather. Make sure you have generators that are ready and able to be turned on in the event of a power outage to ensure that critical systems can continue to operate.

An equally important measure is to ensure that you have surge protectors in the event that you have a power surge during a power outage. This will help keep your equipment operating at peak performance and prevents them from being at risk for burning out due to a surge of power.

Know your budget

Labor will undoubtedly be your biggest expense for your winter maintenance needs. Because of this, it’s important that you focus on how you can make your team more efficient. Using a mobile-enabled CMMS solution can ensure that your team isn’t wasting time heading back to headquarters to check on the latest requests. A mobile-enabled solution empowers your team to work from the field without interruption.

Is your team overwhelmed with the addition of winter maintenance activities to their already long to-do list? Check out these five tips to make your FM team more efficient.