Winter Chill Precautions

Frank Martino
January 05, 2016

Dear Members of the Columbia Community:

With winter's first major chill upon us, Columbia University Facilities and Operations has been working hard to keep building temperatures at a safe and comfortable level. We would like to remind you that you can help prevent loss or damage of your property during this extreme cold temperature and throughout the winter.

Here are a few simple things you can do to help in your room or office:

  • Close blinds, curtains and lock all windows. (Be sure all windows are closed including windows in spaces that are not normally occupied. It is in these "forgotten" rooms that, in addition to wasting energy, an open window can cause freezing and split pipes and resulting damage. It may be useful to designate someone to this task so it is not forgotten.)
  • Leave all radiator valves and fan coils turned on to ensure adequate heating and to avoid freeze damage. Fan coils should be set to the slowest speed setting. If you have questions about valve or coil settings, please contact the Facilities Services Center at x4-2222.
  • Clear clothing or furniture away from heaters to avoid inadequate heating that may cause freeze-ups and damage.
  • Make sure all faucets are off.
  • Close fume hoods when not in use and shut down non-essential lab equipment.
  • Report problems such as leaks, opened windows and doors or other issues to the Facilities Services Center at x4-2222. We are open 24/7 and are prepared to handle your calls.

These few simple steps will help protect your property and prevent burst pipes and other building issues. Should you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to contact the Facilities Services Center at x4-2222.

Please stay safe and warm!


Frank Martino
Vice President, Operations
Columbia University Facilities and Operations