I can remember the days when everyone went back to work on the 27th December. But now many businesses take an extended winter break between Christmas and New Year. While this means some of us can really enjoy the festive season, it also means that many commercial premises will be left unoccupied for an extended period.
At Morgan Clark, we’ve often found that, while clients may have been diligent in protecting their homes while they’re away, they don’t pay the same attention to business premises. So here are a few timely warnings:
- Businesses can suffer burst pipes too. And these can cause terrible damage, leading to loss of stock, computers, machinery, printed records, furniture….the list goes on. Water UK, which represents all the country’s water companies, has produced a very useful leaflet about how to avoid burst pipes: you can find it here.
- Flooding can strike at any time. According to the National Flood Forum, too many business owners underestimate the risk posed by flooding and don’t check if their area is regularly affected. They advise all business owners to verify whether their building is in an at-risk area by visiting the Environment Agency website, and to ensure that their insurance offers full cover for flooding.
- Thieves love Christmas. It will be quite obvious that your business is shut down: no cars, no lights, no people coming and going. So review your alarms and other security arrangements, and make sure your vulnerable doors and windows are firmly secured.
- If you’re a landlord then remember that your tenants – business or domestic – might be leaving the property unoccupied over Christmas. Make sure they know how to turn off the water. The National Landlords’ Associationhas issued the following guidance:
- Ensure all pipes are adequately insulated.
- Check overflow pipes are correctly connected and not blocked.
- Advise tenants to leave the heating on a low setting if the property is vacated for any period during the winter.
- Give the tenant an emergency contact phone number.
Enjoy the seasonal break.