Pipe Freeze Prevention- Philadelphia Insurance Companies

Pipe Freeze Prevention

Pipe freezes can not only cause tens of thousands of dollars in damage, it can impact operations or shut down your business. Preparing your facilities for winter storms and cold weather is essential to avoid these problems.

Storms and cold weather in February of 2021 across the Northwest, Central, and Eastern United States caused an estimated $20 billion in damages, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). The COVID-19 pandemic continues to compound this risk by adding another hazard to consider. Many buildings are reopening after long periods of being dormant, and some still remain vacant or unoccupied. And while businesses in some areas of the country may think they're safe from these havoc-inducing wintry episodes, all 50 states have experienced below-freezing temperatures in recent years.

Identifying the Risk in Your Building

Water damage from ruptured pipes is a huge contributor to these losses. Freezing temperatures cause pipes to leak or rupture. There are a number of strategies to help reduce the risk of pipes freezing and bursting, but a great place to start is identifying the cold areas in your property. One way to acquire that knowledge is conducting inspections called infrared surveys. An infrared survey, using a thermal camera, can help identify air drafts, missing insulation, and other areas vulnerable to exterior freezing temperatures. The camera can produce digital photos or video with thermal readings, allowing you to see temperature differences in real time. Action can then be taken to protect areas where cold spots appear, such as adding insulation or providing heat.

Additional information regarding thermographic inspections can be found on the Energy.gov website, including how to locate a professional who can assist with these surveys. Organizations can also perform these inspections in-house by purchasing a thermal camera and learning to operate it. Thermal cameras range in price from a few thousand dollars to FLIR's FLIR One Pro Smartphone camera which sells for under $500.

Taking Action to Prevent Pipe Freeze

PHLY's HEAT strategy can help organizations prepare for and prevent pipe freeze, breakage, and water damage. Watch the video below to learn how to implement PHLY's HEAT system to weather the storm this winter.

A small investment of time and resources now can help eliminate or reduce the outcome of a pipe freeze event. Download the HEAT checklist and other winter weather resources below.

Resources for Before and After Pipes Freeze

  • PHLYSense Water/Temperature Monitor System

    For policyholders with property coverage, PHLY offers a no-cost, early warning sensor system that detects water and monitors room temperature. Your complimentary system features:

    • Sensors, monitoring, and support all at no cost to policyholders
    • Sensors monitor room temperature and detect water through a cellular network, no Wi-Fi needed
    • Account management and access to sensor readings via mobile app and an online portal
    • Alerts sent through SMS text, email, or phone call
    • Ability to add multiple contacts to receive alerts
    • 24/7 monitoring by a staffed support center
  • HEAT Checklist
  • Steps to Take After Pipes Freeze or Break
  • Vacant or Unoccupied Building Checklist

Winter Weather Resources

IMPORTANT NOTICE - The information and suggestions presented by Philadelphia Indemnity Insurance Company is for your consideration in your loss prevention efforts. They are not intended to be complete or definitive in identifying all hazards associated with your business, preventing workplace accidents, or complying with any safety related, or other, laws or regulations. You are encouraged to alter them to fit the specific hazards of your business and to have your legal counsel review all of your plans and company policies.

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