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Policy: Cold Weather Program

Responsible Party: Director, Safety and Risk Management

Revised: 2/10/23

Effective date: 7/1/2013

Review date: 2/1/2024

Introduction and Purpose:

Safety and Risk Management is committed to protecting MSU’s people, property and assets. This is accomplished through partnership with campus stakeholders, along with programs that assist with health and safety, compliance, risk management and insurance.

This program document offers guidelines and best practices to avoid loss due to cold weather.


100.00 GENERAL

Both Facilities Services and Safety & Risk Management review weather forecasts and work to facilitate protective measures when cold weather is predicted.


Trigger points have been established for inspection and cold weather prevention activities.

210.00 During normal business operations

1. Heating Plant and related system below 20° F

2. University wide below 0° F

220.00 Prior to extended business operation closures (i.e. school breaks, holidays)

1. Heating Plant and related system below forecasted 20° F

2. University wide below forecasted 20° F

230.00 Annually

1.  Fall (starting in October), begin preventive maintenance items pertaining to cold weather, such as draining and securing outdoor water sources (sprinkler systems., hose bibs, etc.).


310.00 Safety and Risk Management

1. Overseeing and reviewing the policy annually.

2. Coordinating campus notification prior to significant cold weather events.

3. Assist departments in establishing cold weather procedures upon request, or as an outcome of prior losses.

4. Revising property loss claims quarterly for trends, and annually with Facilities Services to look for trends and/or lessons learned to avoid future losses.

320.00 Departments

1. Establish, with the assistance of SRM, cold weather procedures as necessary.

2. Follow established cold weather procedures, if applicable, prior to and during periods of cold weather. 

3. At a minimum, ensure doors and windows are closed prior to leaving facilities in the evenings, on weekends, and prior to holiday breaks.  Building Supervisors and Safety Coordinators can assist with this function.

330.00 Facilities Management

    1. Maintain Preventive Maintenance Programs that inspect buildings for:

a. weather tightness;

b. clear and functional drainage systems;

c. functional louvers and dampers;

d. drained and/or anti-freeze protected water systems; and

e. functional heating systems;