With the imminent arrival of the “Beast from the East”, it is a good time to review your procedures for severe or prolonged cold weather. Below we have outlined some basic tips to protect your school property, that should be adhered to in the immediate run up to such an event :
- It is very important to Maintain heat in the Building to reduce the possibility of a burst pipe.
- Ensure your Frost thermostat is correctly set, i.e. 35°F or 2°C if located indoors, or 32°F or 0°C if outdoors
- If no Frost Thermostat fitted, then responsibility for manually starting the heating system must be allocated to named responsible individuals. During short severe cold weather spells, the heat should be left on when the building is unoccupied.
- 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 in an unused building then the water supply should be isolated and all sanitary and domestic water services drained
- Make sure all exposed pipes are properly lagged/insulated
- Make sure that all tanks and pipes in the roof space and all external vent or expansion pipes are well lagged/insulated.
If your school is open during periods of ice and frost, it is essential to ensure your school grounds are made safe and you can provide safe to access your building(s). Make a pathway with grit / salt from the front gate to the front door and cordon off areas that are not safe to be used.
For safe driving tips in extreme weather conditions, visit the Road Safety Authority website http://www.rsa.ie/en/RSA/Road-Safety/Campaigns/Current-road-safety-campaigns/Severe-Weather-Advice/