Winter Break Checklist

SPSU Snowfall_Iota Pi_Luc Graap_Winter 2014 (Copy)

Taking the steps to prepare your chapter’s home for winter break can save time and money down the road. Photo by Luke Graap (Southern Poly)

Editor’s note: This article was written by Sigma Nu’s insurance provider, Willis. Similar articles and additional information can be found on the company’s website. Further discussion on winterizing your chapter’s housing facility can be found here

It’s time to make sure that Greek undergraduate leaders, chapter advisors, and alumni ready their chapter facilities for the colder months and winter break. This winter break checklist was developed as a premise risk management tool to assist chapters in preparing for the coming break period.

  • Complete routine maintenance on furnace or boiler
  • Ensure furnace is on and thermostat is set at or above 60 degrees
  • Ensure all hoses are removed from exterior water spigots
  • Drain water lines in lawn sprinkler system where appropriate
  • In extreme cold weather, open the indoor faucets slightly to allow water to trickle, as moving water does not freeze as easily
  • Leave the doors to cabinets that contain water lines open, this will allow heat to enter the area
  • Inspect all rooms
  • Ensure all non-essential appliances and electronics have been unplugged
  • Caretaker selected or hired to complete daily inspections:
    • Daily walk-through to confirm no loss has occurred
    • Ensure furnace is operating
    • Ensure premise is secure
    • Remove any snow, ice, or debris which may create hazard
  • Caretaker is provided with:
    • A master key that should allow access to all areas of the house including individual rooms
    • Alumni house corporation contact information
    • Emergency response contact
    • Emergency repair company options
    • Insurance claim reporting information
  • Secure chapter house and lock all valuables
  • Contact the local police department or campus security to check on the chapter house periodically
  • Thoroughly clean chapter house prior to extended break
  • Confirm that heat registers are not blocked and combustible materials are safely stored, not next to or in the same room as the hot water heater and HVAC system
  • Remove all perishable food
  • Lock and inspect all windows and repair all broken glass
  • Ensure that exterior doors are well insulated, closed, and latched completely
  • Inspect the hot water heater and exposed water lines and drain pipes for slow leaks
  • Attach and secure downspouts with extension from foundation to prevent water damage, ensuring that they fully displace water away from foundation and other walking areas without draining onto the driveway, sidewalks, or patios
  • Clean gutters and downspouts to ensure proper roof drainage, improper roof drainage can cause ice damming to occur, which can cause interior water damage
  • Clean exterior of chapter house, removing any yard debris or materials that could be used to start a fire, as well as any items stored next to the chapter house, debris can provide an opportunity for an arsonist
  • Check security and safety lighting
  • Service and clean fireplace and chimney and check for defects or debris
  • Check tenants rooms for the following:
    • Unnecessary damage, any damage discovered should be documented
    • Unplug all nonessential appliances and electrical devices
    • Ensure heat registers are not blocked by personal belongings
    • Lock room door for security

For further information or questions regarding risk prevention and educational resources or materials, please visit

CU Boulder Jan 2013 (copy)

The Gamma Kappa (Colorado) chapter home. 

One thought on “Winter Break Checklist

  1. mindysopher says:

    This is GREAT fellas – just might suggest sending it out two weeks earlier next year and then again as a reminder at this time. 🙂

    HAPPY HOLIDAYS to all at THE ROCK! Mindy

    ~Mindy Sopher

    Academic Advisor, NC State Academic Advising Services and

    Faculty Instructor, Communication Department and

    Nonprofit Studies Minor, INPREE

    “NC Order of the Long Leaf Pine” Recipient 2010

    221 First Year College Commons, 2751 Cates Avenue

    919-515-5616 Campus Box 7925, NC State University

    919-515-8267 FAX

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