Pro­tect­ing your firm through the win­ter

The Peterborough Evening Telegraph - - Business - Nick Kennedy, Hen­der­son In­surance Bro­kers

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.

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