These are very difficult times for any business owner. As a result, COVID 19 may have forced you to shut down temporarily, with employees working from home or suspended for now. Now is the time to to protect your business property while it is vacant. Moreover, many governmental agencies have issued guides or requirements for temporarily closing your business. We, here at Irving Weber Associates, want to give you some tips on how to protect your business while it is temporarily closed due to COVID 19..
Regular Maintenance for a closed business –
- Be sure to do regular maintenance on schedule. Above all, modify your maintenance schedule.
- Turn off all non-essential utilities except those needed for preventing damage or securing the premises.
- Turn off all non-essential appliances and electrical equipment. In addition, unplug them if at all possible.
- Consider webcams and sensors to detect any unusual motion, heat or water flow.
- Keep all fire detection and protection systems in service (sprinkler systems, smoke detectors, etc.), and inspect often.
- Check the roof for any evidence of unauthorized access via skylights, roof hatches, or stairwell doors, etc. In addition, look for structure damage, clogged roof drains or vegetation growth.
- Ensure any sump pumps are working properly.
- Be sure to clear gutters clear and insulating pipes.
- Maintain all alarms designed to alert you of property damage (burst pipes, etc.). In this way, any damages can be mitigated as quickly as possible, even when your staff are not there.
- Remove any debris or hazardous materials from the premises, such as combustibles, pollutants or chemicals. In this way you avoid potential fire or spills.
Prepare for the Weather during COVID 19-
- Adjust the thermostat based on seasonal weather. If appropriate, set the thermostat to 55°F to keep pipes from freezing, and air conditioning to 85°F to protect against humidity and mold.
- Store any outdoor furniture indoors. In addition, close all doors, windows, and vents to prevent damage from wind and rain.
Check on your business regularly –
- Do regular walk-throughs. Moreover, varying times of the day and night.
- Similarly, weekly inspections are recommended to check for signs of vandalism or trespassing, as well as checking interiors for any leaks or other damages.
How to Secure your Business during COVID 19-
- Lock all doors and windows, preferably with deadbolts.
- Make sure security systems are working.
- Minimize the risk of vandalism by using exterior and interior lighting.
- Be sure to continue landscape maintenance so the property appears occupied.
Let your vendors and local authorities know –
- Notify the following organizations that your building is unoccupied, and ask to be contacted in the event of an emergency:
- Local authorities and emergency response organizations
- Utility companies (request to be contacted in the event of any unusually high utility usage in the interim)
- Alarm and security companies. Also, consider updating your security codes.
- Nearby business owners
- Consider suspending mail and delivery services to the building or designate someone to process mail daily.
For more information from IWA on COVID 19 and your business, visit IWA’s COVID 19 Resources page. We, here at IWA, hope you find this information helpful. For more information on our programs, feel free to check out our website or ask your current insurance professional for a quote from our program today.
In conclusion, temporarily closing your business can make it vulnerable and can negatively affect your business. If you haven’t already done so, consider implementing some or all of the above. In this way, you will be safeguarding your business.