Winter can significantly impact a business’s operations, so companies need to take appropriate steps to prepare for the challenges the season’s weather brings. This article provides 10 tips on how to winterize a business effectively.
- Assess threats from winter weather. Conducting a risk assessment can help identify areas that winter weather threatens. Developing and utilizing a winter preparedness checklist can assist businesses in reviewing specific risks, as exposures can vary by location and industry.
- Conduct a winter inspection to protect physical location(s). A thorough inspection of physical location(s) can help prevent winter weather damage and other issues. Roofs, drainage, windows, doors and other outside property should all be checked. This review can guide necessary repairs or modifications.
- Protect pipes against freezing. Water damage from pipe bursts can cause severe property damage, so businesses should take measures to prevent them. These include unhooking outdoor hoses, insulating pipes, draining irrigation systems, installing leak detectors and keeping the building’s temperature at least 55 degrees Fahrenheit. In some situations, keeping a trickle of water flowing through the pipes can also help prevent them from freezing.
- Check the heating system and smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. A heating system tune-up can help ensure it is functioning correctly and ready for cold weather. It is also essential to confirm smoke and carbon monoxide detectors and other fire prevention systems are installed and working.
- Develop a snow and ice removal plan. Snow and ice removal plans can help keep business property safe and operational. Whether a business chooses to hire a contractor or complete the work itself, keeping parking lots and sidewalks clear is important. Additionally, companies should review the slip-and-fall hazards in and around their property and take proper steps to address these risks.
- Prepare an emergency kit for winter weather. Sudden and severe weather can leave employees and customers stranded at a place of business. Having an emergency kit with essential items, including food, water, blankets and first-aid supplies, can help ensure their safety in these situations.
- Establish a communication plan. Staff, vendors and clients may need to be contacted on short notice in the event of severe winter weather. Businesses should establish a plan to contact these parties as well as emergency staff and contractors.
- Promote winter weather driving safety. Businesses should confirm their vehicles are ready for winter and promote safe winter weather driving practices. This may include having infrastructure in place so employees can stay home and work remotely if dangerous road conditions arise.
- Back up data. Winter storms can cause unexpected power outages. As such, businesses should back up their data to prepare for these occurrences; data loss can have major financial and operational impacts. Businesses should also consider securing a backup generator as an added safeguard.
- Review insurance coverage. The change of seasons presents an opportunity for businesses to review their insurance. Working with a licensed insurance professional can ensure the necessary coverage with adequate limits are in place.
It is crucial for businesses to proactively address the risks of winter weather. For more information and risk management guidance, contact us today.
Article Published By: Zywave, Inc.