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It’s Cold Outside! Make Sure Your Community is Prepared

12 Tips to prevent pipe and automatic sprinkler system freeze-ups ACT | CPS

Cold weather has set in across the country (well, for most), and for senior living administrators, proper preparation is the key to protecting employees and residents as we enter the winter season.

Preventing Pipe Breakage

A top concern when it comes to ensuring building safety is preventing pipe breakage in winter. Last month, Advance Catastrophe Technologies (ACT), a CPS vendor partner, presented a webinar to help communities understand cold weather preparation and offered these 12 tips for preventing pipe and automatic sprinkler system freeze-ups:

  • Prior to the official start of winter, service the building’s heating system and check regularly throughout the cold weather months.
  • Inspect the structural components of the building for any deficiencies or problem areas to prevent drafts from entering the building.
  • Areas protected by wet pipe systems should be kept above 40 degrees Fahrenheit.

  • Adequate heat should be provided to concealed areas, such as attics, where sprinkler piping may have been installed.
  • Although dry pipe systems are less susceptible to freeze-ups, they should also be included in any winterizing program.
  • Gravity tanks should be checked for leaks and overflows. Leaking or overflowing water could freeze and cause structural damage to, and the subsequent collapse of, the tank.

  • Piping for outdoor systems should be buried below the frost level to prevent freezing. Piping that is exposed to freezing temperatures should be insulated or heated.
  • Fire pumps should be kept in a heated room and tested periodically.
  • Intake screens should be kept clear of ice.

  • Fire hydrants and valves should be kept clear of snow and ice to prevent freezing.
  • Fire hydrants should be checked for adequate drainage and post indicator valves should be checked for leakage.
  • Commercial buildings should have a plan in place for handling extreme snowfalls and cold spells that may lead to heating problems. Make sure supervisor personnel has a list of emergency numbers to call in case of emergency.

Despite following all of the recommended procedures, a freeze-up may still occur. If that happens, management should contact the experts for repair, rather than attempt to make repairs in a “do-it-yourself” manner.

 It is also important for all employees, especially 2nd and 3rd shift workers, to be able to locate water shut-off valves in an emergency.  ACT has a readiness plan to help communities locate water valves when necessary.

Protecting Your Building

From preparing to turn on the furnace to minding the sidewalks on your property, protecting your community involves thought and preparation.

12 Steps to Protect Your Building ACT | CPS


ACT provides advance planning, immediate disaster response and expert restoration services. From the initial plan to the final steps of recovery, ACT is a single source solution for your disaster management needs, from the initial plan to the final steps of recovery.

Other CPS vendor partners that can help protect your community this winter season include Grind-All to repair and restore your sidewalks, Cintas to provide high-traction mats, and more.

Contact us to help you ensure your community is cold weather ready!

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Care Purchasing Services (CPS) is the leading national group purchasing organization (GPO) dedicated to connecting senior living communities to carefully vetted vendors in plant operations, food service, medical supplies, therapy, pharmacy, and more.