February is the coldest month of the year in many states, and the freezing temperatures can wreak havoc on your business if you’re not careful.

In the past week, the U.S. has seen record low temperatures that caused businesses to close, schools to cancel class and an influx of accidents on the road. Businesses that stayed open experienced high amounts of call-outs from employees and low amounts of customer foot traffic. Let’s face it: nobody wants to go outside in subzero temperatures.

There are several ways that you can decrease your business’ potential for major losses. Protect your business from cold weather-related expenses with our tips below:

Prevent Frozen Pipes

If a pipe were to burst, it would cost your business a fair amount of money. On the other hand, implementing preventative measures to keep this from happening is costs anywhere between cheap and free. There are many ways to keep your pipes from freezing:

  • Keep the temperature no lower than 55°F. Even if your business is closed over the weekend or for an extended period, don’t turn the heat all the way down in an effort to lower your heat bill. Keep warm air flowing through your pipes at all times, or there’s a higher chance they will freeze.
  • Allow cold water to trickle from the faucet. This may also seem like a waste, but again, the price of repairing burst pipes in comparison is enough to make a little extra water seem worth it. The consistent water running keeps the pipes warm enough to not freeze over.
  • Open any cabinet doors. If your business has a break room with cabinets, keep them open as the warm air circulating in the room will keep the pipes warm.
  • Have a backup power source. In the event of a winter storm, your business’ power may go out. A backup power source will ensure that your business stays warm even if there’s a power outage.

Create a Work-from-Home Plan

Sometimes the weather can be so bad that employees driving to work would be dangerous. Instead of forcing employees to come in regardless, give them the option to work from home if possible. This is, of course, ideal for an office setting where the majority of work is done on the computer; for some companies, working from home is impossible.

However, if you work in an office, consider providing employees with a laptop and a docking station so that they can bring their work home the day before a storm. This keeps your employees safe, provides them with the option of flexibility in the workplace, and allows for a minimal decrease in productivity. If you’re a fan of The Office, you might say this is a win/win/win situation!

 

Keep Sidewalks and Parking Lots Clear

Our final piece of advice to protect your business from the cold temperatures this season is to keep the sidewalks and parking areas on your property cleared. Neglecting to put in the effort to keep your customers and passersby safe is a huge liability issue. One city in Illinois, Des Plaines, even fines business owners if they do not clear their sidewalks within 24 hours of a snowstorm.

While it may seem like a pain to either hire a snow removal service or get the job done yourself, it could save you a fair amount of time and money in the event that you get sued due to a slip and fall injury. Protect your business from a claim and take the time to make sure your sidewalks and parking lots are safe to walk on.

 

Call Risk Averse Insurance in Media, PA to discuss general liability, professional liability, workers’ compensation, and a variety of other coverage options for your business.

Risk Averse Insurance is an independent insurance agency in Delaware County that specializes in providing high-quality insurance products at an affordable price.

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