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Michals Insurance Blog

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Winter Storm Juno

Millions of people in the Northeast are bracing for Winter Storm Juno, which threatens to become a major snowstorm today through Wednesday with the potential for blizzard conditions and more than 2 feet of snow.

Being prepared to weather the storm is essential. Here are a few key items you should remind your clients about:

  • Maintain heat in premises even if you are closed.
  • Roofs should be checked and cleared prior to the storm.
  • Snow removal and salt should be prepared and ready.
  • If you have jewelry stock it should be placed in safes, as access to premises could be impacted for 48 hours.
  • Have cell phones and other electronics charged.
  • Have extra batteries available and accessible.
  • Make sure you have your insurance agent and company information available.

The following tips from the Insurance Institute for Business & Home Safety for preventing frozen pipes:

  • Provide a reliable back-up power source, such as a stand by generator, to ensure continuous power to the building.
  • Interior building temperature can be monitored by a central monitoring company to ensure prompt notification if the interior of the building reaches low temperatures during after hours, power outages or idle periods.
  • Recessed light fixtures in the ceiling below the open area that is directly under a roof, such as attic space, should be insulated to prevent the release of heat into the attic.
  • Check to see if there is any visible light from recessed light fixtures in the attic.
  • If there is, they are not adequately sealed or insulated. Sometimes, especially in low sloped roof buildings, the space above a suspended ceiling located below the roof may be heated and cooled like the occupied area below. If that is the case, there is no need to insulate above the suspended ceiling or seal the ceiling's penetrations.
  • Insulate all attic penetrations such as partition walls, vents, plumbing stacks, electric and mechanical chases, and access doors that are not properly sealed.
  • Ensure proper seals on all doors and windows. Depending on the building or room size, fan tests can be conducted to ensure room and pressurization tests.
  • Seal all wall cracks and penetrations including domestic and fire protection lines, electrical conduit, other utility service line, etc.
  • Sprinkler systems should be monitored by a constantly attended central station to provide early detection of a sprinkler pipe rupture due to freezing.
  • Insulation and/or heat trace tape with a reliable power source may be installed on various wet sprinkler system piping. This includes main lines coming up from underground passing through a wall as well as sprinkler branch lines.
  • UL-approved gas or electric unit heaters can be installed in unheated sprinkler control valve/fire pump rooms. If back up power is provided, the heaters should also be connected to this power source.
  • A monitored automatic excess flow switch can be placed on the main incoming domestic water line to provide early detection of a broken pipe or valve when the space is unoccupied.

Be proactive! Develop a plan, and execute! Our loss prevention team is always available to assist you in creating a plan or answering any questions you may have.

For additional Risk Management tips please log onto our YouTube channel and join one of our LinkedIn Groups Jewelers Forum for Security and Trends or Fine Art Risk Management Update.