If you are a business owner in the Chicago area, you know how harsh our winters can be, and how crucial it is for your facility to be prepared. Snow, ice, and sub-zero temperatures can pose serious hazards to people and property.
Here are some crucial steps to prepare your business for the winter weather:
- Insulate your plumbing. Frozen pipes can crack or even burst, causing thousands of dollars in water damage when they thaw, not to mention the cost of replacing the damaged pipes themselves.
- Keep walkways clear. According to the CDC, slips on ice and snow account for over one million injuries a year! Remove snow as soon as possible and put down salt as needed to prevent ice from building up. And make sure to have non-slip mats at all entrances.
- Address drafty windows and doorways. Drafts can make your building uncomfortably cold, not to mention the extra electricity and gas costs from your HVAC system trying to compensate.
- Make sure your HVAC system is in good working order. A malfunctioning HVAC system can leave your employees and goods in the cold, which is hazardous to people, can cause freeze damage to your building, and degrade products you sell. Have your units serviced in the fall to make sure they don’t fail when the temperatures really drop.
- Prepare for power outages. A backup generator can be a lifesaver if you sell perishable goods such as food that would spoil without refrigeration. It can also make sure the heat and lights stay on at least long enough for employees to leave safely.
- Prepare your landscaping in the fall. Your grass and plants will be much happier come spring if you cut them back in the fall to prepare for dormancy. Also make sure to rake up all those leaves so they don’t pose a trip hazard on walkways.
- Take a look at your security. Make sure your exterior lighting is working properly, and install security cameras in key places so potential thieves can’t hide. This also makes sure employees don’t find themselves in unsafe situations, isolated in the dark.
- Perform routine maintenance on your roof. Preparing your roof in the fall can prevent costly damage when snow and ice accumulate in the winter. Repair cracks, missing shingles, and other weak spots, and make sure gutters are free of debris to prevent ice dams.
- Update your emergency action plan for winter weather. Make sure you have a plan in place to communicate with employees when winter weather makes the roads dangerous. And have a plan for what to do in the event of a fire, power outage, or HVAC failure that keeps employees and your business property safe.
Kamm Insurance Group is here to help make sure you and your business stay safe and protected this winter season! Give us a call at or visit us online to ensure you have the right coverage for any risks that your business may face this season.