Protecting your firm through the winter
I ’m sure we are all very diligent about ensuring our homes are‘ winter- ready’. The oil supply is checked, pipes lagged, heating on low to avoid freezing and salt is at the ready.
But have managers given sufficient thought to the impact on empty work premises of the long, dark, cold winter weekends to avoid new year heartache?
Over the last few years we have seen some fairly severe winters and according to the latest long range Met Office forecast this winter is predicted to be ‘ colder than average’.
With this in mind, now is a good time to take reasonable steps to ensure a risk free winter at your business premises.
If any business manager is leaving the business property empty over wintry weekends then they should consider the following to safeguard against theft:
• Checking your premises over the closure period for any signs of disturbance or damage.
• Review your external security, check that all windows and doors arec losed and locked and that any intruder alarms and CCTV systems are working.
• Review internal securi- ty – empty cash registers and safe guard other money kepton premises. Wherever possible remove or lock away portable items i. e. lap- tops etc.
Burst pipes can cause severe damage to stock, premises and business contents.
Now is a good time for businesses to take measures to reduce the chances of pipes bursting or freezing. Some checks include:
• Keeping the heating ticking over with the thermostat set low.
• If your business is going to be closed for a few days consid- er turning off the water at the stop cock to switch off water at the mains supply.
• Check that your pipes and storage tanks are adequately insulated.
• Ensure you have a good supply of oil or LPG if this method is used to heat your premises. In the event of severe weather supplies can be disrupted.
Protect your staff and the public against slips or trips. Keep a supply of grit and do not be put off clearing paths because you’re afraid someone will get injured.
Remember, people walking on snow and ice have a responsibility to be careful themselves. Don’t believe the myths - it’s unlikely you’ll be sued or held legally responsible for any injuries if you have cleared the path carefully.
So much of this advice seems so incredibly obvious – but as an insurance broker, we see claims every single winter where people have failed to take simple precautions to protect their premises during the winter months.
Be prepared and keep your business protected this winter – it will make for a much happier 2013 all round.