Winter is around the corner here in the Northeast – is your business ready? With the promise of snow and freezing temps come slips and falls, burst pipes, service interruptions and more.
Know your deicers: Consider application areas and weather conditions when choosing the best deicer. For example, rock salt is inexpensive but corrosive to concrete and less effective at lower temperatures. Ice melt blends are more effective but also more expensive. Proper application is also important. Melting snow will refreeze overnight so be sure that you treat areas in the morning before guests and employees arrive.
Don’t forget entryways: Slip and fall risks don’t end when you enter the building. Snow, ice, sand, and salt tracked in from outside can create hazards in entryways. Keep these areas clean and dry with mats designed for those hazards. Floor mat length and how often it should be replaced needs to be scheduled to ensure they are addressed as often as needed.
Dry pipe sprinklers can “freeze”: Dry pipe sprinklers contain pressurized air that is replaced with water only once the system is activated by heat. Transient water or condensation from air within the system can build up and freeze during cold weather causing damage to pipes and fittings. To minimize risk, make sure systems are property installed with pipes sloped so water collects at low points and that pipes are drained on a quarterly basis.
Safety is everyone’s job: Who keeps the entryways dry and clean? Who checks to be sure excess snow isn’t blocking fire exits? Who knows how to shut off the water supply in case of a burst pipe? If you have to stop and think, then your employees won’t know the answers either. Make sure responsibilities are spelled out, employees are trained and know who to report to if there is a problem. Don’t make assumptions about who in your organization knows how to handle an emergency.
A knowledgeable insurance agent will talk to their clients long before the first storm of the season rolls in. There are resources available to help you put your Winter plans in place so you are prepared and ready to communicate with your staff about what’s coming up. Preventing risk is better than trying to recover after an event.
For more information about how to prepare your company for the cold months ahead, contact The Flanders Group at 800-462-6435.