ERCOT has issued a severe weather watch for January 15 - 17 due to predicted extreme cold weather across the ERCOT region, higher electrical demand, and the potential for lower reserves. For additional information, please visit the ERCOT website at www.ercot.com/txans.
Severe cold weather in Winter Storm URI (2021) caused an estimated $195 billion and Elliott (2022) another $54 billion in property losses from broken pipes and water damage.
Due to this severe cold weather and a three-day weekend, Texas Political Subdivisions JSIF (TPS) would like to remind the membership to maintain the heat in their buildings to prevent frozen and busted pipes. Building temperature should be monitored and maintained at 45° or higher. Below is a list of some steps to prevent damage from severe cold weather:
- Building temperature should be monitored, documented, and maintained at 45° or higher.
- Perform freeze protection inspections and be aware of shutdown procedures.
- Have a contingency plan with contractors and suppliers.
- Pre-emergency planning for fire, water damage, and snow removal should be established.
- Boilers, furnaces, heaters, and flues should be serviced regularly.
- Initiate 24-hour building surveillance during the event.
- Fully seal the building envelope.
- Ensure the building’s heating systems and insulation maintain temperatures no lower than 45° in areas with water lines and equipment.
- Cold weather valves should be closed while all others remain open.
- Install water leak sensing devices.
To assist in this goal, TPS has partnered with a company called AlertLabs. This company provides leak monitoring devices. These devices monitor conditions within the building and notify in the event of water flow, low temperature, and humidity changes, quickly detecting a broken pipe and preventing water from flowing unchecked for extended periods.
If you are interested in exploring how this technology can benefit your entity, please contact your TPS Loss Control Representative.