Extreme cold weather is on its way

Those of you who ventured out of the house this morning were more than likely covered in a dusting of snow. The bad weather is on its way.

A quick glance of the weather forecast pages of the national newspapers paints a grim picture of the next few weeks.

‘Threat of icy conditions’. ‘Britain experiences coldest night of winter so far’. ‘Arctic blast to bring freezing temperatures and snow’. It’s looking like we’re going to have a very cold late January, early February.

The good news is that we know it’s coming. From an insurance point of view, that gives us a head start. But we need to get going as soon as possible. Now is the time to check that the maintenance on your venue is up to date.

So here is our advice on keeping your club claim free through the bad weather. 

Roofs & Gutters

It goes without saying that roofs and gutters are one of the areas most at risk during the bad weather. Most insurance policies will include conditions about the maintenance of your roof, whether the weather is bad or not. They will insist that roofs, and especially flat roofs, are inspected regularly (once every two years or so) by a qualified builder or property surveyor. They will also stipulate that any issues found must be rectified immediately.

Guttering should be checked for blockages by a competent person. These checks should be made every six months and after every storm. It’s important that when the checks are made, they are done so by a professional, or a member of your staff who is properly trained and using well-maintained equipment.

Increased stock

If your venue is in a remote area, or you’re concerned that the bad weather will slow down supply chains, it’s possible that you might over-order and stockpile non-perishables.

If you do this, you will need to review your sums insured to ensure they are still adequate. If you’re in doubt, you can contact NDML for advice.

Slip and trip hazards

With slippery footpaths and stairwells, the outside areas of your venue have to be well-managed. That’s also true for any un-carpeted areas inside, which can become hazardous as people drag snow and water into the venue on their shoes.

It’s important that you manage these risks, with regular proactive measures such as gritting and cleaning spillages etc. It’s also important that these measures are properly recorded and evidenced.

Not having the necessary risk management logs could leave you vulnerable to a claim. And remember, a claimant has three years from the date of incident in which to pursue a claim. You must keep all logs for at least this period of time.

Heating and lagging

The big ‘theme’ of this blog has been regular maintenance and checks. They’re the best way of avoiding an incident occurring.

It’s no different with your heating systems. Have your water tanks, apparatus or pipes adequately lagged by a qualified plumber.

Ensure that the heating system comes on whenever the temperature at the coolest point in the building drops to 4c. If you don’t, you may find you’re not covered in the event of a burst pipe.

Additional heating

Most insurance policies exclude you from using portable heating appliances of any kind other than in office areas. If appliances are used in the approved areas, they must have a valid PAT testing certificate and be unplugged when not in use.

And finally…

It may seem obvious, but make sure that all doors and windows are fully closed and secure when the worst of the weather hits. You’d be amazed at how much flood damage, for instance, occurs when a toilet window is left open.

Preventing damage is often a matter of common sense. Make sure you are thorough in your checks and don’t leave anything to chance.

If you’d like any more help, feel free to contact NDML via the ‘Contact Us’ form at the top. We’re always happy to help.

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