Brilliant advice to help you protect your business this winter

With winter temperatures regularly falling below zero, protecting water pipes from freezing - and then potentially bursting - is a priority. Although no single measure can be guaranteed to protect your pipes from freezing this winter, there are some steps that businesses can take to minimise risks. The more you do now, the more you can lessen the chances of problems occurring even in the most extreme cold weather conditions.

In this guide, you’ll find some top tips to help your business beat the chill this winter.

Download your free Winter Wise guide here

How to be Winter Wise

Wise stands for Warm, Insulate, Safeguard, and Emergency plan. All the actions you need to take in order to help protect your business this winter.

  • Warm buildings offer the best protection against frozen pipes, so keep your business warm.
  • Ensure your water tank is fitted with an insulation jacket or wrapped with suitable insulation material.
  • Dripping water increases the risk of freezing, so repair any leaky taps or valves as soon as possible.
  • Be prepared. Find and know how to use your stopcock and have the phone number of an emergency plumber to hand.

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Don't just follow our Winter Wise guide, we offer a range of practical advice and free resources to improve your business water efficiency.

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Four things to do now to help prepare your business for winter

Running a business is time consuming, so setting time aside to plan for another bad winter when there’s no guarantee we’ll see another white winter may not be a high priority. But you never know what mother nature has in store, so if you can do these four things now, you’ll help minimise the risk of winter downtime or closure and save yourself from added stress should the worst happen.

1. Check your Insurance Policy

Make sure to find and read your business insurance policy. It's important that your business details remain up-to-date and you have a copy of your policy number and insurance contact number in case you need to make a claim.

Double check your policy coverage. Assess whether you need to add additional policies or adjust your current policies to ensure your business is fully protected against closure, damage or downtime over the winter season.

2. Make a visual account of valuable stock and equipment

Take note and a visual account of the condition of your business equipment and stock. It is good practice to keep a record of your business assets prior to any potential damages that could occur and is crucial to know if you ever have to make a claim.

Don't forget to take photographic evidence of your business premise interior and exterior as well as any valuable sock or equipment.

3. Set reminders now

Set reminders to schedule your heating whilst your business is closed for the holidays. Even if you only plan on closing your business for a couple of days, don't risk having frozen pipes burst in the freezing temperature. With no one there to resolve a burst pipe, the last thing you want to find when re-opening your business is a bad leak, or worse flood! Avoid the stress and set a reminder to turn the eating onto a low setting whilst your business will be closed.

4. Know what to do and who to call in an emergency

Any type of emergency is chaotic, so it's important to have a contingency plan in place and prepare for the worst case scenarios. Know the basics in case an emergency does transpire, such as your business insurance contact details and policy number and where your premise stopcock is.

Ensure you have quick and easy access to important contact information for time sensitive situations. Write down, or save onto your phone, your water networks emergency contact number. You can find your water networks emergency contact number here.

Tips for preventing frozen pipes

Unfortunately there is no guaranteed way to prevent frozen pipes. However there are steps that can be implemented to help reduce the chances by protecting your pipes:

  • Make sure all taps are turned off properly with no drips.
  • Install an insulation jacket around your water tank.
  • Set your heating system on low as warm buildings best prevent frozen pipes.
  • Check for leaks at taps and valves. Fix any leaks before they have time to freeze.

Are you concerned that you may already have a leak? View our Leak Assistance FAQs.

If the leak is an emergency, please contact your Water Network Owner, you can find contact details here. You can also find out who supplies your business water by clicking here.

Your Business Premise Winter Checklist

Before locking up for the festive season, complete your business premise winter checklist to ensure your business is protected over the cold weeks ahead:

  • Locate your internal stopcock - it may be under the kitchen sink or in the staff toilets.
  • Make sure your office boiler has been serviced.
  • Closing for a few days? Leave the heating on low or drain down the system.
  • Insulate water tanks and lag your pipes. Remember not to leave any gaps at bends, valves, or fittings. Lagging material is available from all good DIY stores.
  • If there is a loft space, check loft insulation is in good condition.
  • Ensure pipes, cisterns, and tanks in unheated areas such as lofts are lagged.
  • Leave loft doors open to allow warm air to circulate.
  • Repair dripping taps - even a small trickle can result in frozen pipes.
  • Keep a separate supply of drinking water in case of emergency.
  • Make sure you have adequate insurance against plumbing and drainage emergencies such as burst pipes.
  • Note the name and number of an industry recommended plumber in case of emergency.
  • Castle Water’s contact and emergency contact numbers are listed below and can also be found on our website.

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