Be Prepared: Winter Safety Tips for Your Business
While winter weather is unavoidable, you can reduce your business̵7;s vulnerability to the cold season by taking action before and throughout the winter. Winter weather can cause damage and disruption to your business, even if snow and ice are uncommon in your area. Many storms are accompanied by dangerously low temperatures and sometimes by strong winds, ice, sleet and freezing rain. Reduce your business’s vulnerability to a winter storm by taking action before and throughout the cold season.
Follow these best practices to prepare for winter weather and help minimize its impact on your facility, employees and business continuity. If you have any questions, contact our office at 413.475.7283 or fill out our quote form online today!
How to prepare your property and equipment for cold weather
Below are some tips to help you prepare your property and equipment in the event that your area is hit by extreme cold weather conditions.
- Restore or provide heat to buildings to maintain a minimum temperature of 40°F.
- Ensure that all doors, windows, skylights, fans and shafts are weather-tight to prevent cold air from entering any part of the building. Check areas of recent construction.
- Maintain a list of contractors, equipment/parts suppliers who can respond to building freezing issues.
- Keep a list of employees with contact numbers to use in the event work is canceled or delayed. Identify employees who can assist with recovery efforts.
- Track National Weather Service updates (warnings/watches) for the latest storm information or listen to a weather radio broadcast from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) or other local news outlets.
- Create an emergency preparedness kit with at least a three-day supply of nonperishable food and bottled water, flashlights, and a battery-powered radio.
Prepare your walking surfaces
- Provide moisture absorbent mats, rugs or runners at building entrances to reduce wet and slippery floors. Have warning signs available.
- Clear storm drains of debris to minimize the risk of runoff ponding.
- Arrange for snow removal to clear premises and access roads before the winter season arrives. If snow removal is performed by your own personnel, have adequate snow removal equipment available and maintain alternative contractors.
- Mark and identify concrete tire stops, fire hydrants and landscaped islands in parking areas. When covered in snow, these present an invisible and dangerous trip and fall hazard.
- Determine where the piles of snow removed from the parking lots will be stored.
Protect your construction equipment
- Inspect all emergency power sources such as generators to ensure proper operation.
- Inspect emergency heating systems to ensure proper operation.
- Maintain adequate fuel supply and reserves for primary and emergency situations.
- When additional heating is required, maintain at least three feet of distance between the heat source and all combustible materials.
- Ensure all temporary heaters are UL listed and equipped with automatic high temperature and tip shut-off devices.
- Ensure idle cooling equipment such as cooling coils, chillers and compressors are drained and/or installed in areas of heat. Refrigeration equipment that is in year-round operation must have operating and de-icing procedures implemented to prevent freezing and ice damage.
- Shield equipment and fixtures located directly under sensitive frozen pipes with watertight covering.
- Add listed/approved heat tracing to process system piping that is susceptible to freezing.
- Check your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. Replace batteries regularly for smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. This is very important if you are going to use a generator. Portable generators should never be kept indoors as they produce high levels of carbon monoxide and can cause injury to anyone inside the building.
Extra seasonal inventory
The cold weather usually means the holidays are just around the corner. If your business has more inventory during this time of year, consider including automatic seasonal increase coverage for your business policy.
At Encharter Insurance we are here to help you with a quote or any claim. Call us at 413.475.7283 or visit our website at encharter.com to discuss your business insurance and deductible needs. We can offer coverage from many insurance companies so you get the insurance for your budget and needs!
Source: https://www.chubb.com/us-en/businesses/resources/6-ways-to-prepare-your-business-for-winter-weather.html and https://bankersinsurance.com/2021/ 12/02/small-business-winter-safety-tips/