Business owners have been warned to batten down the hatches to prepare their company premises for the onset of winter.
Martin Pitchford, said for most people, winter conjured up images of ice and snow, and biting winds.
“In fact, at this time of year, homes and businesses are more likely to be at risk of flooding, with the level of rainfall growing annually. Met Office figures showed that last year Britain faced unprecedented rainfall totals, and the Environment Agency has revealed that one in six UK properties is at risk of flooding, so it’s essential that business and homeowners are well prepared.”
Mr Pitchford said even though floods could not be completely avoided, there were easy and effective preventive measures that businesses could take to minimise any potential damage.
“Take the time now to install flood-resistant doors and windows, or consider installing removable flood barriers in areas that are most at risk. Make sure you sign up to receive flooding alerts from the Environment Agency, and monitor local radio and media outlets to keep yourself informed of the latest situation.”
Mr Pitchford said in areas facing the highest risk, business owners should consider moving electrical sockets, fuses, trip switches and fixed appliance connections to a safer height of around 1.2 metres.
He suggested they should also purchase toilet bungs and install non-return valves to minimise pressure caused by water backflow, as well as sealing any gaps in the walls and floors with flood-resistant sealants and additional non-return valves.
“If you have a basement or empty spaces beneath your floors, think about installing a pump system too, so that if the worse should happen, you can start to take action as soon as possible.
“While flood-proofing your business can help to keep the damage to a minimum, you must also ensure you have adequate and effective insurance cover in place so that you’re protected and ready for what is often unavoidable winter-related damage.”