Editor's Articles


Industry insurance specialist Wrapped offers essential advice to help prepare your business for severe weather

January and February can often bring extremely cold weather, which can lead to many businesses sustaining losses from burst pipes, weight of snow on roofs and escape of water. These direct losses can be increased dramatically by the cost of business interruption if your insurer is slow to pay your claim.

There are a number of simple but effective steps that businesses can take to both prevent and reduce the impact of cold weather on their operations.

Be ready....

Check you have the following things in place so you know you can react quickly if there is a problem:

  • Make sure you know the location of all stopcocks and check that they are easily accessible and in good working order
  • Keep a record of the layout of all the utilities that service your business, particularly water and gas/oil and check now that the pipes are in good condition
  • Assemble a list of reputable local plumbers and boiler engineers and keep their details handy in case you need to call them in an emergency
  • Ensure your heating system is serviced and maintained and that you have access to sufficient fuel should there be winter shortages
  • Review the fabric of your building and consider where roofing may be vulnerable to heavy accumulations of snow
  • Service heating systems at least once a year and consider installing a leak prevention system that allows you to switch off the incoming mains water easily and frequently

Be prepared...

Sprinkler Systems

  • Contact your sprinkler system contractor and make sure your sprinkler system is prepared and ‘winter safe’
  • Systems that protect outdoor or cold areas such as valve chambers and pump rooms are especially vulnerable
  • Heating should be maintained at or above 4 degrees at all times. Exposed pipe work should be lagged and routinely inspected and maintained

Help prevent problems before they arise...

Floodwater, even if shallow, can be hazardous so avoid burst pipes by:

  • Ensuring any exposed pipes are protected from impact
  • Using good quality insulation to protect pipes and tanks – external pipes, taps and hoses are particularly vulnerable to the cold so ensure they are adequately insulated
  • Repairing any dripping taps and leaking overflow pipes
  • Ensuring that the temperature in any building does not fall below 4 degrees
  • This is particularly important at times when your premises may be unoccupied. Leave the heating on low and consider draining down water systems if your premises are left unoccupied for an extended period of time
  • Ensuring boilers are safeguarded against freeze and in particular drain and condensate lines

Minimising damage...

If you are unfortunate enough to sustain a burst pipe, follow the guidance below to minimise damage and interruption to your business:

  • Immediately turn off the water at the stopcock and drain the system
  • Turn off any central heating to prevent damage
  • Move any vulnerable stock or business equipment
  • Never use naked flames to thaw frozen pipes or equipment
  • ‘Ice dams’ can form on the edges of roofs from continued thawing and refreezing of melting snow
  • Water can ‘back up’ the roof getting under the tiles and leaking into the building. To help prevent this keep drains open and free of ice in a safe manner

Ryan’s ‘Wrapped’ specialist Fish & Chips insurance policy, designed by the industry for the industry gives you the peace of mind in knowing that your business is properly protected and your claim will be dealt with rapidly should the worst happen.

For more information about ‘Wrapped’ or for your personal quotation, talk to Ryan’s.

Ryan’s 0800 093 3018 wrapped@ryans.co.uk www.ryans.co.uk/wrapped


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