JOHNSTON, R.I., USA, February 7, 2023 — To help businesses maintain continuity and develop future prosperity, FM Global is today announcing the release of its new Worldwide Freeze Map, providing information to allow businesses to more effectively assess and address their specific climate risk profile. As the increasing impact of climate change continues to expose businesses to exacerbated climate risks, this task has never been so vital.

Freely available to all, the map is based on 100-year return period daily minimum temperatures (100-year DMT) and can be used to determine necessary freeze protection for essential business hardware. This includes, for example, pipes, tanks, and outdoor equipment which may be susceptible to freezing. Geographical regions having a significant weather-related freeze hazard are identified by the 20°F (-6.7°C) or colder temperature bands, which are a good indicator for freeze damage based on historic losses as well as laboratory and field experiments.

"It's common to think that only warm climate areas are at risk of the freeze hazard," says Jessica Waters, vice president and manager of natural hazards and structures at FM Global. "However, loss history shows that the hazard is just as prevalent in areas accustomed to cold weather. The extreme cold brought by polar vortexes has caused lots of freeze damage, especially when facilities are shut down for a weekend or holiday.

Waters summarizes, "A power outage from severe weather will result in disruption. But if the building loses heat, the freeze can cause a much bigger disaster and a lot more headaches." The Worldwide Freeze Map gives businesses the information to understand if their operations are exposed to the risk of freeze and take the necessary precautions to protect their business today and prosper tomorrow. 

The new Worldwide Freeze Map is the latest addition to FM Global’s growing climate solutions portfolio, which includes two recently launched first-of-their-kind climate resilience products: the FM Global Climate Risk Report and the FM Global Climate Reporting Aid. The Climate Risk Report scores each client organization based on the actions they have taken to address climate risk and their unique exposure to events like flood, windstorms, hail and wildfire. This data enables business leaders to effectively prioritize their most critical investments in climate resilience, setting themselves up to thrive in the year ahead and beyond. The recently launched Climate Reporting Aid also assists with this, acting as a guide that helps clients disclose acute and chronic climate-related financial risks to investors and the public, according to widely-adopted frameworks like the international Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD),

FM Global is also soon set to launch a new predictive Climate Change Impact Report tool that will provide insights on clients’ unique chronic risk based on the evolving impact of climate change on natural hazards, further bolstering FM Global’s suite of climate resilience solutions.

Mitigating Potential Freeze Damage – Next Steps

Freeze risk regularly impacts equipment and infrastructure which is often hidden and enclosed within a building. Take, for instance, the pipe behind the wall without adequate insulation; the sprinkler riser in the parking garage that stands unprotected where the water and air meet. Under winter conditions, these can lead to major freeze losses.

The Worldwide Freeze Map will help businesses understand how specifically their operations may be exposed to potential freeze events. But what comes next? The answer lies in the practical steps businesses can take to reduce their risk exposure. Steps like closing vents and regularly checking exposed pipes can be essential, allowing businesses to maintain continuity when faced by freezing temperatures.

Downloadable assets for understanding freeze and freeze emergency checklists are available at FM Global’s NatHaz Toolkit.


About FM Global

Established nearly two centuries ago, FM Global is a mutual insurance company whose capital, scientific research capability and engineering expertise are solely dedicated to property risk management and the resilience of its policyholder-owners. These owners, who share the belief that the majority of property loss is preventable, represent many of the world’s largest organizations, including one of every four Fortune 500 companies. They work with FM Global to better understand the hazards that can impact their business continuity in order to make cost-effective risk management decisions, combining property loss prevention with insurance protection.