Fall is here and winter is fast approaching. For facility managers this can be a challenging time of year as cold weather is often challenging in term of keeping equipment and personnel operating despite the lower temperatures. Thus, now is the time to prepare for what may be a chilly fall/winter season ahead. Consider the following recommendations to prepare your facility for fall and winter weather.
- Anticipate power failures and other winter-related disasters: Blizzards and ice storms can develop at almost any time during the winter and can knock out power in your facility for hours or even days. Thus, now it is a good time to plan for such a contingency. Make sure that you have a functioning generator on hand and that you can make the switch over to emergency power seamlessly. Also, educate your workers about blackout procedures so that they know how to respond if harsh weather brings your plant to halt.
- Inspect your HVAC system: It is crucial that your heating and ventilation system be in good condition during the winter. After all, freezing conditions in your warehouse can damage equipment, inventory and most importantly affect the health and safety of your employees.
- Outside piping: If you operate a gas plant, make sure the outside pipes are drained prior to the arrival of freezing weather conditions. Also, if your business has oil tanks on hand, consider using an oil tank heater blanket. Oil tanks need to be heated to a certain temperature so that the contents can maintain pumping viscosity and to prevent crystalline precipitation.
- Check your equipment: Check all equipment that needs a heating element in order to function properly. If you have a Watlow cartridge heater or other kind of heater, make sure it is functional and that you take precautions to prevent it from failing in cold weather.
- Review your building envelope: The first line of defense against cold weather is the outside of your facility. Does your building contain poorly insulated doors or windows? Does your roof need replacing? Are drafts a constants problem in your facility? If the answer to any of these questions is “yes”, then you should start winterizing your building’s exterior now.
To wrap things up, there is no need for your plant to be less productive during the winter. Take the necessary precautions now to protect products, men and equipment so that you do not encounter an emergency situation that ends up shutting down your operations. Also, browse our site for cartridge, band and immersion heaters. Our products can help to improve your facility’s safety and efficiency.