Boiler Emergency Preparedness Checklist
Accidents happen. It’s just a fact of life. Boilers are incredibly complex machines, with hundreds of intricate parts working together under enormous operating stress. It’s inevitable that things will sometimes go wrong.
Boilers are mission critical to the operations of many businesses, from hospitality to food manufacturing, and as always “Time is Money.” Every moment that your boiler is malfunctioning or non operational costs your business money, and even more concerning, can put your team at risk of injury.
Don’t get caught unprepared. A little bit of planning will go a long way towards making sure that your boiler problems will be solved quickly and safely. Powerhouse is the boiler emergency expert. We help companies deal with more than 100 boiler issues every single year, so we know exactly what to expect.
We’ve created this short checklist to help you prepare for any boiler emergency:
External Emergency Boiler Connections
One of the main problems with servicing or replacing boilers is that they are often fully enclosed within a building. This is a great safety measure, but can cause significant issues in the case of boiler repair or replacement. This is especially true when attempting to quickly supplement or replace a malfunctioning boiler with a rental unit. Make sure to install external boiler connections at your facility so that a portable boiler provider like Powerhouse can quickly and efficiently hook up a replacement unit. Typically a rental boiler requires city water, electricity(if not using #2 oil), fuel, drainage and an output line for steam or hot water.
Fuel Backup Plan
Make sure you have a backup plan for fuel. For instance, if you’re using natural gas, make sure you have a #2 fuel oil or propane line in place as well. You never know when there will be an issue with a cut or disabled fuel line that can put your boiler out of operation. Additionally, your company could be on a curtailment program for natural gas, which can lead to an unexpected interruption of your primary fuel source. An easily accessible backup plan for fuel can solve this problem in hours instead of days, saving several shifts worth of lost time. All Powerhouse rental boilers come ready to accept natural gas, propane or #2 fuel oil enabling complete flexibility when it comes to fuel management.
Emergency Shutdown Procedure
When a unit is taken out of service and powered down it is imperative that proper procedure is followed to ensure that it is done safely, and to prevent damage to the boiler. Establishing a standard procedure for shutting down your boiler in case of emergency greatly reduces the chance that something will be done improperly. While there are some standard practices, each boiler and installation is a little different, so make sure that an experienced engineering team is involved in establishing your procedure. Powerhouse’s team is happy to help if you have any questions.
A lot of different people are involved in operating your business, and things can get particularly hectic when something goes wrong. In these cases it is critical to ensure that not only is the boiler properly powered down, but that it can’t be fired back up, either by accident or misunderstanding. A lockout-tagout procedure ensures that the parties responsible for “locking down” the unit are accountable, and that it can not be fired back up without their approval. This could be the topic of an entire article itself, and there are many different applications of this process. No matter how you do it, establishing some form of lockout-tagout procedure is an important step in ensuring safety in these situations.
In the worst case scenario, it may be necessary to quickly get your team far away from a malfunctioning boiler. This may seem simple, but in hectic times chaos can ensue. Make sure that you have clear evacuation signage and messaging, and an effective way of communicating an evacuation to your team. Also, make sure they are well informed about the evacuation procedures and understand the importance of following them quickly and efficiently.
Do Your Research
Don’t wait until you find yourself in an emergency situation to do your research. Find a boiler rental and service provider that can quickly and professionally provide what you need. Speak to them about your specific needs, get estimates and find out what they will need to help you. This will help to avoid a panic situation in which you are forced to choose a less than optimal solution because you don’t have time for thorough due diligence. We’re glad to come out to your boiler room, free of charge, for a Contingency Planning Consultation, to help ensure that you are ready for anything.
The best thing you can do to prep for a potential emergency is make sure that you have a plan in place. While you may not be in a position to check every box in the list above, it’s important that you have at least considered each point. The more you plan for a “worst case scenario,” the less “worst case” it becomes.
If you have any questions about what your business can do to be prepared, please give us a call. We’d love to help you think through your contingency plan to make sure you are in the best possible position if something goes wrong.
Call 1-800-377-8326 to schedule a free Contingency Planning Consultation with our boiler experts.