Hospitality Focus on Safety: Winter Preparedness
Winter brings in freezing temperatures and icy conditions which can be dangerous for your staff, your guests, your building and your hotel’s equipment. Taking precautions to prevent damages and safety risks can save lives and money.
- Winter storms can cause icy sidewalks, slippery entrance ways and icy parking lots.
- Freezing temperatures can cause damages to plumbing, irrigation, and sprinkler systems.
- Power outages are common during colder temperatures and winter storms due to ice accumulation on power lines.
- Ice accumulation on the building can cause serious damage to structures, siding, windows, doors and gutters.
- Stock a supply of heavy work gloves,
work boots, large trash bags, ice melt, sand and snow shovels.
- Ensure all flashlights have fresh
batteries and the staff knows the location of all flashlights.
- If your area is expected to have
sub-zero temperatures, purchase a non-toxic antifreeze for your boilers, water
heaters, HVAC systems and refrigeration systems.
- Inspect and repair any exposed areas
around windows, PTACs and doors.
- Verify that every PTAC on property
has been fully cleaned within the previous 8 months. If any were skipped, clean them immediately.
- Check and repair the insulation
around water heaters.
- Check and repair all wall heaters in
riser rooms, pool pump rooms, stairwells and vestibules.
- Ensure all gutters and downspouts are
clear of debris and attached securely.
- Trim back any tree branches that are
too close to the hotel.
- Call and verify contact and contract
information for a snow removal company.
- Inspect every CO detector on property
to ensure they are working correctly.
- Inspect every Fire Extinguisher on
- Insulate all pipes that are exposed
to the outside.
- Retrain the staff on the location of
the water main shut off.
- If you have a dry sprinkler system
anywhere on the property, drain the drips weekly.
- Refresh the team on proper evacuation
of the hotel in case of emergency.
- Ensure all emergency contacts are
accurate and the staff knows where the Emergency Binder is kept.
- Buy battery backups for the main
- Store bottled water and perishable
- Make sure you have extra blankets on
In the event of an emergency due to winter conditions:
- Follow the guidelines for the incident found in the Emergency Binder.
- If you feel you may have incurred an injury of any kind, report it immediately to your supervisor.
- Be very clear on whether you require immediate medical attention, imminent medical attention or request additional accommodations to prevent injury in the future.
- Report the incident to the Risk Management Team.
- Inform the staff of the incident and make corrections to procedures or errors to ensure that this incident does recur.
June McCreight began her career in the hospitality industry as a housekeeper in 1996. In the years since, she has risen through the ranks, learning maintenance, front office, sales and revenue management, property management and district management, bench management and opening team management. She has trained hundreds of hoteliers and won many awards for her management successes. In 2011, June wrote and published, The Strangers in My Beds, a fictional novel based strictly on the strange events of her career in hotels. In 2014, June partnered with her father, a very accomplished software architect, and opened the business, Coba Enterprise Management, LLC with a very unique and specialized CMMS (Computer Maintenance Management System) software for hotels.