Compass AFM - Newsletter - March 2018

It was Snow Laughing Matter

They called it "The Beast from the East" and although we had almost 2 weeks warning of the impending freezing weather, businesses, transportation and pretty much the contry as a whole ground to a halt for a few days.

In the aftermath, facilities and maintence teams were especially busy repairing damage caused by the storm. But this is a comon story - Why?

A lot of it is complatency caused by the media - "Worst storm in 46 years", "Freak storm to batter..." etc. These give us the idea that extreme weather conditions are rare and we will not see another one as bad again for many years.

However, it would appear this will not be the case. Experts predict with continuing Global Warming and decreasing Solar Activity, extreme weather conditions will become more common, so we need to be better prepared.

Regional Pro5
includes of the best weather related Planned Maintenance checklist enabling businesses to be better prepared when storms or freezing conditions arrive.
Request More Information

Picture by Ger Power

What the Experts are saying...

Predicting the weather at best is a guessing game. However over the last 15 years or so, to my own recollection, storms would appear to be more frequent and stronger in winter. When younger, I do not remember so many weather related programmes on television. Over the last years Global Warming and decreasing Solar Activity appear to be the main weather warning topics. Let's see what the experts say...

Global Warming
  • What Is Global Warming? - Read Web Article
  • Global Warming 101 - Read Web Article
  • NASA: Climate Change and Global Warming - Read Web Article

  • Solar Activity
  • Solar activity is declining - what to expect? - Read Web Article
  • Diminishing solar activity may bring new Ice Age by 2030 - Read Web Article
  • Sunspots 2014: Solar Cooling To Arrive? - Read Web Article

  • What is interesting is the paradox. Global Warming says we are heating up, yet Solar Activity says we will cool down.... There are 100's or articles to read but are the experts correct, we will have to wait and see.

    But, now is the time to start preparing for Winter 18/19. Forget about the "big" doom and gloom predictions, lets just assume we could expect another Storm Ophelia or Beast from the East again in the next couple of winters.

    Preparing for the Weather

    So how do we prepare? Below are a list of suggestions.
    1. Weather related PPM

  • Engage with your facilities team and sub-contractors and make a survey of plant / equipment / pipework / Structures / Trees etc., that could be at risk or have the potential to cause damage.
  • Increase your PPM contracts to include weather related checks
  • Examine plant positioning to determine if they require additional protection

  • Regional Pro5
    includes of the best weather related Planned Maintenance checklist enabling businesses to be better prepared when storms or freezing conditions arrive.
    Request More Information

    2. Burst Pipes, Flooding and sensors

    Little causes more damage and disruption than burst pipes due to freezing. Ensure all your pipes and storage tanks are properly lagged and install water leak detection sensors in critical areas.

    While there is little you can do if the mains supply freezes outside your property boundary, it should not happen within. Remember fire prevention equipment (sprinklers, hose reels) are water dependant.
    3. Flat Roofs

    Flat, low pitch and membrane roofs are often at higher risk to weather damage. Ensure all seals around vents, pipes, extract fans, skylights etc. are secure. Check regularly for cracks and other damage. Ensure rainwater can runoff easily.

    Rainwater and snow are heavy. Indentations in your roof where rainwater can collect will increase the loading on your roof. Settled snow while it may look pretty can also be a risk if it accummulates over 50cms or freezes to ice. This Link will allow you to calculate the weight of snow on you roof area. Good advice from Aviva
    4. Staff and Public Safety

    Snow and ice especially, exposes your business to risk in relation to the movement of people. Ensure you have supplies of salt and equipment to keep pathways and roadways as safe as possible. Take extra precautions if any members of staff have any additional mobility difficulties. Ensure fire escapes and doors are kept clear. Also listen to radio reports if or when public transport services may be shutting down to ensure staff have ample time to leave to get home.

    Installing a fixed rope handhold along paths will give people extra security. Most footwear is totally unsuitable for traversing ice. An old solution was to cover you shoe with a thick sock. Why not keep some available?
    5. Power Failure Maintaining Critical Equipment

    All too often power is lost during a storm. While again, there is not much you can do about the public power supply, you can take precautions within your property. Ensure ga an oil pipelines are properly lagged. Make sure no overhanging branches from trees could bring down powerlines.

    If you have a generator ensure it is correctly maintained, tested on a regular schedule and has an adequate supply of fuel. CCTV Security personnel and Lidl incidents

    6. Security

    A major storm event could mean that even your security personnel may have to evacuate. Ensure your other security equipment is functioning. Remember outdoor CCTV can become snow covered or damaged. Again talk to your security provider for advice. Unfortunately, while most people have difficulty travelling in a storm or have sense to stay in a safe location - other do not. (Lidl store in Tallaght, Dublin)

    7. Management

    Preparedness and good management are key to minimising the effects of any storm on your business. It is too late to react when the storm arrives.
    REMEMBER - failure to prepare or delaying weather related PPM could put a persons health or life at risk.

    Regional Pro5
    includes of the best weather related Planned Maintenance checklist enabling businesses to be better prepared when storms or freezing conditions arrive.
    Request More Information

    Management Consultants, Compass AFM, provide Energy, Asset Management and Facilities Maintenance Control Solutions. for a wide range of industries including; Retail, Property Management, Facilities, Manufacturing, Education and Government sectors.

    Compass AFM realised from the start that customers wanted more than just a "boxed" software package or short term consultancy, they also wanted a means to solve specific operational issues. Our solutions are the key tools for maintaining plant, property and facility assets to the high standards being demanded today.

    Our years of experience allows us to develop unique problem solving solutions specific to your company It is this combination that provides our customers with the ability to make better decisions, run operations more efficiently, reduce energy usage and improve their organisations financial performance.

    If you would like more information watch the video above, contact us or visit our website on

    We would love to talk with you.


    Dominic Murnane
    Managing Director

    Compass Software Technology Ltd.
    Head Office: Killarney Road, Macroom, Co. Cork, Ireland

    Tel: Ireland: 026 23616 / 087 607 6565
          Worldwide: +353 (0) 87 607 6565

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