Winter Risk Alert from Towergate Insurance Brokers

18th December 2020

As winter approaches, it is important that businesses are protected against adverse weather conditions. After an extraordinarily difficult year, now is the time to take stock of the measures you have in place.

Damage resulting from escape of water is one of the most common causes of property claims. You should ensure all drainage on your sites are running clear and free.

With leaves dropping during Autumn a build-up can lead to blockages. If you store fuel and bulk liquids, tanks and pipes are liable to being damaged by freezing temperatures.
 
A common problem for tanks is burst pipework as temperatures drop. Make sure they are protected against corrosion or other damage.

Freezing pipes is a very common cause of water damage. As ice forms, it expands causing pipes to burst. When the pipes thaw, water can escape if they are not protected. Water may be released over key equipment and damage disruption will result.

You may be able to shield or relocate critical equipment or re-route piping if water damage exposure is considered excessive.

This year, with lockdown and a long summer, heating systems are likely to have been switched off for an extended period. Your system should be checked before switching it back on to ensure tanks and pipes are not damaged to avoid the risk of oil spills.

It is essential that the structure of your building cannot be breached by collapsing roofs or adjacent trees, equipment and ice flows. Keep the interior of your building warm enough to prevent freezing.

Remember, weather conditions can change quickly and could hamper your ability to react to an unexpected emergency. 
 
Public transport, roads, power and fuel supplies along with key services, can impair your emergency response, so be prepared for unusual situations. 
 
It may be a good idea to discuss with staff a plan to protect your property.

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