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Festive Facilities Preparations For Fewer Christmas Headaches!

18th December 2012

As you start to unwind and prepare for the Christmas break, have you given some thought to effective business shut down over the holiday period to protect your business premises should severe weather conditions result?

Keeping buildings and services at the correct temperatures is essential to try and reduce the risk of leaks and bursts of water pipes, which will add to business costs; please find some helpful tips below.

  • Check the weather reports¬†for potential freezing conditions in which case the risk of pipe bursts can increase.
  • To shut off your water supply and reduce risk of water leaks in the building, do you know where your stopcock is?¬† If not, find out. Would it work in an emergency? We suggest you trial a shutdown of the cold water supply.
  • Meter readings: if your business will be shut down completely over the Christmas holiday period, take a water reading the day you finish up and repeat the reading again when business resumes after the holidays. This will help to identify if there has been a leak or burst over the holiday period which can then be addressed quickly rather than waiting until you receive your next water bill.
  • Frost protection from the heating system: keep your heating on at a low temperature to maintain a constant heat in the event that temperatures do fall. This will help to avoid burst pipes and leaks.
  • Plant room: make sure your plant room has adequate frost protection. In extreme weather, insulation may not be adequate particularly for cold water systems.
  • Nominate an emergency point of contact so should temperatures fall below freezing, when it is safe to travel, the nominated person can pop into your business premises to check for leaking or burst pipes.
  • Have a checklist of emergency numbers handy so that prompt action can be taken if an issue is spotted e.g. a local plumber who will do emergency call-outs.
  • Make sure that appropriate insurance(s) are in place should damage to your business premises occur as a result of severe weather conditions.
  • Remember to use the evidence of the control measures used to support the Environmental Management Systems for the business. Avoiding water leaks, taking appropriate emergency action, and meter readings demonstrating controls in place all count towards evidence for management systems such as ISO 14001 and BS8555.