Prepare your commercial building for winter:
Winter brings a lot of hazards to real estate owners and is fraught with many risks and liabilities for commercial building owners and managers. You have a responsibility to your tenant’s to keep them and your property safe and habitable during the winter months. If you own or deal with commercial or residential properties you are responsible for potential winter hazards, and you can be held liable if they cause injury.
Proper insurance coverage is necessary for all commercial buildings. Consult Fidella Insurance Agency today to make sure that you are properly covered.
Preparing for winter hazards can prevent damages and a little preparation can help avoid costly bills. Use the following as a very basic checklist to help you prepare for winter:
Keep your pipes from freezing– Insulate or wrap pipes in unheated interior areas. Make sure to seal any leaks before winter hits. Occasionally have water trickle out of your pipes to keep the water moving.
Inspect HVAC System and change air filters- Have your HVAC system inspected and serviced BEFORE winter weather hits. Change the air filters and do any other regular maintenance that needs to be done.
Get your boilers serviced before it gets cold– Annual boiler inspections are a must for all commercial buildings. Have your boiler inspected and identify and fix all potential problems.
Eliminate Wasted Heat- Check for drafts, leaks, and cracks and properly seal and insulate all areas. Inspect doors and windows and use caulk and weather stripping to seal gaps that are found. This will help keep the building warm and help reduce heating costs.
Clean Gutters-Clean all your gutters from all objects including leaves and branches. This will moisture drain properly. Make sure nothing is blocking your drains to prevent significant damages.
Prepare for lost power– Have a safety and security plan in place in case you lose power. If you have generators make sure that someone is responsible for making sure they are used correctly and safely. Have alternate source of light (i.e flashlights or lanterns) available in easily found areas. If anyone in your building is in danger of suffering from hypothermia than remove them to a safe and warm place as soon as possible
Prepare for snow removal– Have a plan in place for immediate snow removal. Make sure that a company is hired and/or make sure all equipment is available and in working condition. Keep items fully charged and filled with oil or gas.
Prepare entrances- Place good mat inside and outside all doors to prevent dirt and therefore slip-up and falls. Remember that you can be held liable for injuries caused by winter weather hazards so prepare your entrances and hallways to ensure safe passage for all tenants and visitors.
Repair sidewalk and parking lot cracks– Cold weather can expand sidewalk and parking lot cracks making larger holes and cracks, which can cause trip and falls. Remember that you can be held liable for trip and falls that occur on your property so make sure that you do all that you can to make a safe walking environment.
Install and maintain Carbon Monoxide detectors– Carbon monoxide detectors should be in operating condition within 15 feet of every room used for sleeping purposes. They should be regularly tested and made sure that they are working properly.
For additional questions on your risks and exposures, or on appropriate coverages to protect you from liability or costly disputes, contact Fidella Insurance today.