1. Keep walkways, doorways, stairways, and high-traffic areas free of clutter and debris.
2. Keep sidewalks, walkways and rooftops free of ice and snow. Snow-melting mats are an efficient and convenient way to prevent snow and ice accumulation around a facility and help reduce slip-and-fall accidents. Look for products that are portable and designed to be left outside for the entire winter season.
3. Fill holes and depressions around the building that may accumulate excess ice, snow, and water. Inspect all concrete, stone or brickwork and if needed, try to repair them before the snowy season begins.
4. Inspect gutters and downspouts for leakage as this can cause dangerous ice patches to form.
5. Ensure the facility has proper lighting both inside and outside.
6. Regularly replace burnt-out light bulbs and be sure to use the appropriate wattage.
7. Install light switches at the top and bottom of buildings' stairs.
8. Make sure stair height and tread widths meet building codes, and that each step is identical in size.
9. Use nonskid pads to secure area rugs and throw rugs.
10. Make sure adequate insurance coverage is in place in case there is an accident on the organization's property.
11. Know your assets – hardscape and softscape items as well as how many miles of sidewalk you have and how many steps and entrances so you can look at the whole general pattern.
12. Guard your technology and data. Winter weather can result in costly power outages due to ice and wind. It is critical to back-up all company and client data daily, either onsite or through a hosted, off-site cloud service.
13. Avoid electrical shutdowns. Determine if your office requires individual surge protectors or a large building surge protector with battery back-up. For data centers, it is recommended to use an uninterruptible power supply (UPS).
14. Review your telecommuting protocol in case employees are unable to get to work during or after the storm.
15. Replace belts and filters in order to purify airstreams and optimize fan performance.
16. Analyze all boilers performance to ensure that they will operate efficiently during the winter.
17. Start up heating systems and program set points to maximize operational attributes.
18. Perform an oil analysis on all compressors because lubrication is vital to properly shutting down compressors.
19. Standardize equipment where possible to eliminate the need of dealing with several vendors when repairs are needed.
20. Repair and prepare - inspect in detail and repair the problems found and make sure the budget has the required money to replace or fix any problems.
21. Provide heated enclosures around operating equipment where possible.
22. Provide heated enclosures around operating equipment where possible.
23. Make sure an emergency generator is available.
24. Evaluate winter maintenance costs.
25. Review your snow removal program and adjust as needed.
Hillel Glazer is an expert in the field of radiant snow melting and serves as the President and CEO of HeatTrak. He has helped hundreds of safety and maintenance professionals design portable snow melting systems for their facilities. He has been featured in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal and on Fox, NBC and The Weather Channel. Connect with him on LinkedIn:www.linkedin.com/in/hglazer