Prepare your business for extreme cold weather
Posted in Business
Businesses can close for extreme weather without the proper prevention plan. But with the right insight, you can keep your employees and customers safe while reducing business interruptions. Learn how to prepare your business for freezing weather, ice storms and more with these winterization tips.
Understand how freezing weather impacts your business
The best starting point for creating a prevention plan for your business during extreme cold weather is to understand how it can impact your business operations. Here are some potential scenarios for you to keep in mind:
- Ice dams can form on your roof—have ice guard shingle underlayment professionally installed to reduce risk of injury on your property.
- Water lines can freeze—set your thermostat no lower than 55°F, keep cabinets and utility room doors open to warm up pipes and run a small trickle of water to keep pipes from freezing in extreme cold weather.
- Roofs can collect heavy snow and ice—after a winter storm with substantial snowfall, consider hiring a professional to remove accumulations from your roof to reduce the risk of structural failure.
- Road conditions can vary due to snow and ice accumulation—practice safe driving habits such as reducing your speed and gently tapping the brake to come to a stop. You should also avoid steep hills, bridges and using cruise control wherever possible.
- Parking lots and sidewalks can become slippery from slush and ice—have a plan for snow removal and salting your sidewalks, parking lots and driveways to keep employees and customers safe.
- Company vehicles can require maintenance for cold weather—be sure your vehicles always have enough gas, coolant and windshield wiper fluid and that the battery, belts, hoses, windshield wipers and tires are all in good working condition. It’s also a good idea to keep blankets, jumper cables, water and other supplies in the vehicle in case of an emergency.
- Building temperatures can drop significantly or be inconsistent—if you opt to use space heaters, be sure to plug them directly into the wall instead of extension cords. Check the devices for frayed or damage cords before use. When you leave the room, turn off and unplug the space heaters.
Additionally, your HVAC system could fail during extreme cold temperatures. Be sure to hire a professional HVAC contractor to inspect and maintain your system so you don’t lose heat.
Use these winterization tips as a starting point to create a business plan for extreme cold weather.
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Identify when it’s time to close due to extreme cold weather
It’s not always easy to make the call that it’s time to temporarily close due to freezing weather, a winter storm or extreme cold weather. Here are some factors that can impact your decision:
- Roads in the surrounding area are slippery, unplowed or unsafe for travel
- Outside temperatures are dangerous for being outside or operating vehicles
- Power outages are impacting your business or the surrounding area
- Local schools and/or other nearby businesses are closed
You can also consult your risk control team to help you develop a checklist for closing your business due to extreme cold weather or other freezing weather conditions.
Choose Integrity to help your business before and during freezing weather
With Integrity Insurance, you have a business partner you can depend on. Our risk control experts offer a consultative approach to help you increase safety and efficiency while reducing risk and loss potential. That means you can rest assured your partners at Integrity are equipped to help you create a business plan for extreme cold weather specifically for your business needs.
Let us help you minimize business interruptions and keep safety a top priority. Talk to your local Integrity independent agent today for complete details about our business insurance coverage.
This article is for informational and suggestion purposes only. Implementing these suggestions does not guarantee coverage. If any policy coverage descriptions in this article conflict with the language in the policy, the language in the policy applies. For full details on Integrity’s business insurance coverages and discounts, contact your local independent agent.