Winter Weather – steps to protect your business!

Over the past number of winters, we have been unlucky with severe weather conditions that have caused damage to homes and businesses. Since the impact of harsh weather can be so devastating it is important that people whose properties are at risk take appropriate action. Much of this damage is preventable by following simple steps which will ensure that your home or business is not as susceptible to damage or losses.Snow, Frost and Ice

Freezing conditions regularly lead to flooding from burst pipes. In addition, snow melts combined with fresh rain falls can overwhelm the drainage system and result in local flooding. In very extreme conditions, heavy snowfalls can impose significant loads on roof structures, although this is extremely rare in Ireland. In addition to direct property damage to buildings, accidents and incidents are also more likely during periods of cold weather.

Simple steps to avoid and reduce damage:

  • Ensure windows and doors are locked.
  • Ensure pipes are correctly insulated.
  • Ensure any portable heaters are in good condition and maintained correctly.
  • If buildings are being left unoccupied, set timers on heating units to ensure that pipes do not freeze.
  • Ensure gutters and drains are free from obstructions.
  • Sprinkler systems and pump houses should be maintained correctly and adequately heated.


Luckily, Ireland generally does not get the devastating hurricanes and typhoons which regularly affect other parts of the world. However, many coastal areas can still suffer storms with winds gusting to over 100 kilometers an hour. High winds often cause damage to buildings, and in certain cases can leave whole areas without power or rended certain routes impassible.

Simple steps to avoid and reduce damage:

  • Keep track of weather forecasts.
  • Have roofs periodically inspected by a professional.
  • Ensure vents, skylights and signs are secure.
  • Ensure windows, doors and their frames are securely fixed to the building.
  • Have a professional inspect trees close to your property that may be in danger of falling.
  • Consider purchasing an emergency power generator.

Rainfall and Flooding

Ireland is one of Europe’s wettest countries, and unfortunately flooding has become and inevitable part of life in certain areas. Numerous severe floods have occurred throughout the country in the last decade, usually caused by a combination of heavy rainfall, overflowing river banks, coastal storms or blocked drainage systems. While we cannot prevent the climatic causes of flooding, we can take measures to prepare for it and reduce the resulting damage and hardship.

Simple steps to avoid and reduce damage:

  • Find out if flood warnings are available in your area.
  • Be ready to move important equipment, such as computers and archives, above flood level.
  • If your property is located in an area which is frequently flooded, consider moving air-conditioning and heating systems and computer servers permanently away from the basement or ground floor.
  • Purchase permanent or semi-permanent flood protection products, such as sand bags or flood guards.
  • Secure equipment that could move or fall during a flood.
  • Consider raising electrical sockets above flood level.

Contact Phelan Caswell Insurances on for more information on how to protect your business from winter weather.