Advice for businesses to keep trading during cold weather

Towergate Insurance warns local businesses to prepare against cold weather hitting the UK. From water pipes and heating to checking your insurance and tenancy obligations.

Mike Lawton, CEO of Retail Broking at Towergate Insurance warned, "Winter weather can cause business operational problems and slow down normal trading. It can also cause an escape of water due to frozen pipes and tanks which can damage business premises and take months to put right. Business stock and equipment can also be ruined resulting in a loss of income whilst repairs take place, causing a great deal of stress and inconvenience during a very difficult trading period."

So here are Towergate's top tips to protect your business against the cold weather this winter:

  • Insulate all water pipes and tanks in the building which could be liable to freezing, particularly those in roof voids

  • Locate your main stop cock where the water enters the property - make sure all staff know where and how to stop the water in the event of an emergency

  • Make sure someone regularly inspects the building, knows the location of the stop cock and who to contact in the event of an emergency. Early detection will help to minimise damage should pipes freeze

  • Where possible, leave the heating system on. If not, turn water off at the mains and drain the pipes and tanks

  • Make sure all employees know what to do in the event of a burst pipe or leak, have a list of emergency contacts such as plumbers easily accessible

  • Consider backing up any computer records and storing them off-site - you may need these records to continue to run your business and support any business interruption claim

  • Ensure that any important paper documents are protected or stored off-site or copied

  • Refresh your knowledge of your areas of responsibility if you are a tenant, ensure you have emergency contact details for the landlord or managing agent

  • If the premises are unoccupied or become unoccupied you should notify your broker or insurance company. Water should be turned off at the mains.

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