As usual, the New Year has brought cold temperatures, rain and ice. If you haven’t done so yet, you should protect your business against the winter. We’ve seen the past years bring heavy snowfall in February and early March and it seems like this year the weather in Britain is not going to look any better. So get prepared for the snow with these tips on how to protect your business when temperatures fall.
1 Check your insurance policy
What do you say? You can’t find a copy of your insurance policy? Fear not: you can always ask your company for another copy to keep in a safe place. Once you’ve done that, you can now have a look at your policy coverage. Learning what you are protected against is always important, especially when an unexpected situation as a sudden snowfall may happen any minute. Don’t wait until the last minute to make any adjustments in your insurance policy. Are you protected against downtime, closure or damage to your business, premises, customers or employees?
2 Make a visual account of valuable stock and equipment
Check the condition of stock and equipment right now and maybe take pictures. How does everything look? Having visual evidence of the condition of your stock and equipment before the damage happens is crucial in case you may need to make an insurance claim. It will also help you notice the changes and how bad the damage is. After all, we tend to overlook the state of our equipment as long as it works, to the point that sometimes, if the damage is not incredibly obvious we might not realize it actually happened. Remember to keep your policy number and the insurance company phone number where you can easily find it, just in case.
3 Check for possible issues ahead of time
It’s always better to be safe than sorry, which is precisely why you should check your building in order to spot small issues that could end up resulting in serious problems later on.
Look for things like:
- Cracks near doors and windows
- Roof leaks
- Loose objects that could blow away
- Piper insulation
- When was the last time your boiler was serviced?
- When was the last time you checked up your computer system? Have you backed it up lately?
4 Be WISE
Castle Water, the UK’s leading independent water supplier, advises us to be WISE when cold weather approaches. What does this mean?
WARM: the best way of protecting yourself against frozen pipes is keeping your premises warm. If you are going away, consider keeping the heater on low or turning off the water supply.
INSULATE: protect your water tanks, pipes and toilet cisterns with suitable insulation material (i.e. an insulation jacket for water tanks and insulating tape for the pipes).
SAFEGUARD: repair leaky taps or valves and minimise draughts, as they increase the risk of frozen pipes.
EMERGENCY PLAN: being prepared is key: have emergency phone numbers (plumber, electrician, snow removal company and insurance company) to hand, learn how to use your stopcock and keep rugs and an emergency supply of drinking water.