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Three ways to protect your business this winter

Frozen Bridge

With Christmas fast approaching and the remnants of various Atlantic storms battering the UK, Square Mile Broking would like to remind you of some of the precautions to take in order to reduce the chance of injury or damage to your property, your staff or yourself this winter.

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With Winter well on its way, here are the best three ways to protect your business this winter to ensure safety and risk management:

1 – Heating is important
The best way to protect your pipes is to keep them warm. Keep your heating on low, especially when you close your business for the holidays.

2 – So is insulation
Make sure your water tank is fitted with an insulation jacket. If you can’t cover the whole tank, at least make sure the top and sides of the tank are wrapped. Also remember to insulate toilet cisterns, water tanks and pipes which are exposed or located in unheated buildings. If they are not in use, drain them of water.

3 – Manage and protect
Dripping water increases the risks of freezing pipes so have any leaks, taps or valves repaired immediately. Cold draughts can also freeze pipe work, so make sure you fit draught excluders to any doors and windows. Remember:
• If you stock or own materials that are temperature sensitive store them properly.
• Store all stock or work In progress off the floor to prevent damage by flooding.
• Make sure guttering and gutters and down pipes are clear and free from obstruction.

And if the worst happens…
What should I do if a pipe bursts?
1. Turn off your water at the stop valve immediately.
2. Switch off your immersion heater and central heating boiler and then open all hot and cold taps to drain the system and minimise the damage. Let any solid fuel fires die down.
3. Switch off your electricity supply at the main if there is a risk that water could come into contact with electrical wiring or fittings.
4. Check with your neighbors that turning off the water has not affected their supply.
5. A temporary repair can be made to a burst pipe by binding it tightly with a cloth, tape or using a pipe clamp. However, any burst pipe should be replaced as soon as possible by a qualified plumber.

What should I do if a pipe freezes?
1. Turn the water supply off at the stop valve immediately.
2. Switch off your immersion heater and central heating. Let any solid fuel fires die down.
3. Open all cold taps to drain the system but never turn on the hot taps – your hot water cylinder may collapse if the pipes leading to it are frozen.
4. Never attempt to thaw out frozen pipes by switching on your immersion heater or central heating boiler. Instead, check for any obvious bursts or sprung joints, then gently heat any frozen sections – a heated cloth wrapped round a pipe is ideal. Never apply a direct flame to a frozen pipe.
5. Call a qualified plumber if you are in any doubt about what to do.

And finally…
Have your insurance policy details to hand together with contact numbers.

If you are one of our clients and have an incident/claim over the festive period then please contact us on the emergency numbers enclosed within your latest Square Mile Broking risk register you have on file or, alternatively ring us 0330 024 2980 – and we will come back to you at the earliest opportunity.



photo credit: “Painting Makes Me Happy” via photopin (license)