Managing Business Insurance In the Winter

Political and economic turmoil may be a talked-about threat this winter, but cold snaps could be just as big a foe.

Businesses often overlook the business continuity issues potentially accompanying burst pipes, accumulations of snow on their roof and escapes of water. Taking all necessary steps to prevent problems before they arise and having a plan in place for if they still do, makes sense.

Trying to save on heating bills by switching off the heating overnight or in an unoccupied building could be a false economy if it leads to a pipe burst. Instead, prevent cold air from entering buildings, by checking areas around doors, windows and skylights.

Sprinkler systems must be up to the job in winter. Those guarding external facilities, or colder areas, will benefit from you keeping the heating on. Add approved heat tracing to protective piping. Test low-temperature alarm systems.

Don’t let taps or overflow pipes continue to drip – that can easily lead to a burst pipe

in a cold snap. Keep drains and gutters clear, so water does not build up externally

and use salt around drains to prevent ice build-up. If ice does accumulate, water

could enter your building’s foundations. It can also flow under the roof tiles due to an ice dam forming and later melting. However, never attempt to reach for that blow torch or other naked flame to try to thaw a pipe!

Inspect emergency generators and ensure they are ready for winter. Keep enough fuel supplies at hand for your main and emergency needs.

Make sure the area around your premises is clear and keep snow removal and gritting supplies at hand. Get a snow removal plan in place and know where trip hazards are located. Blankets of snow can make these invisible. Have absorbent and non-slip mats, or runners available at building entrances so wet snow does not enter the building.

Try to remove accumulations of snow on roofs safely. To prevent roof collapse, try to move snow off evenly so you do not create an overload on one part of the roof. Do not use ice picks; do not scrape right down to the roof’s surface, or you could damage the membrane.

Keep a list of emergency numbers and contact details for plumbers, heating engineers and equipment suppliers at hand. Also, ensure you can quickly contact all employees to prevent them from coming to work. Finally, create a fine weather ‘taskforce’ of key people who could take the necessary actions if emergencies occurred.

Above all, keep an eye and ear out for weather reports and brace yourself for the conditions. Being forewarned, as well as having taken steps to prevent loss, could prevent negative impacts on your business.

Call us today on 01274 515 747 or email us at mail@lwood.co.uk to find out how we can help.