With the Christmas period almost upon us, you may be thinking of shutting your business premises for a few days (or more). So here is a quick checklist of areas you should consider before taking a break.
Cold weather can create numerous different problems for properties. Burst pipes being one of the greater risks. And one which can cause significant damage.
So, take steps to prevent your pipes from freezing before you close up.
- Turn off your water. You can find guidance about locating your internal stop tap and how to turn it off on the WaterSafe website. You may also want to consider draining your water system
- Your water pipes or any water tanks should be well insulated so do check that this is the case. If not, it may be something you consider addressing
- Set the heating to a low level whilst you are away as this can help stop pipes inside from freezing
You can also visit the water.org website for more advice on what to do if you think you have a frozen pipe, and what to do if you have a burst pipe.
Of course, cold weather isn’t the only risk that winter can bring, so you’ll want to take steps to guard against possible high winds, and wet weather whilst your premises are empty. We’ve previously put together a guide to flood risk planning and some tips for keeping your home and business safe in more unpredictable weather.
Focus on security
Empty properties can be attractive to thieves, especially during the winter with the darker evenings. So, it will be important to ensure your property is left secure.
- Check all windows and doors are locked. And ensure that any gates or entry points are shut and locked
- If you have CCTV on your property, then ensure that this in good working order and left active whilst your premises are empty. They can provide evidence in the event of a break in. And can also act as a deterrent to would be thieves
- If your property has an alarm, then do activate this
- Putting your lights on an automatic timer can help give the impression that the property is occupied
Think about cyber security
If you or your employees will be working remotely over the festive period, then checking your cyber security for remote working will be an important area to cover.
Let your insurer know
You may want to inform your insurer that your premises will be vacant for a period of time. Some insurers may stipulate in their policy terms and conditions that they need to be informed if a property is vacant given the additional risks an empty property can present.
Whilst talking with your insurer, or insurance broker if you work with one, it may also be a good time to review your cover and to ensure that the cover that you have in place is still sufficient for your needs. Remember that it is your responsibility to update your insurer if any of your circumstances change. If you have increased your stock levels over the Christmas period for example, it is a good idea to check that you have not exceeded any policy limits.
If you are reviewing your business property insurance or other elements of your business insurance, then do chat to us at Anthony Jones. We have a team of experts on hand to help who can advise not only your insurance needs but who can also help you to understand the risks that you may face as a business. Contact us on 020 8290 9080 or email us at email@example.com.