The Winter area is designed to help our clients and the public prepare for Winter and minimise risks in the event of severe weather conditions. Our ‘Snow Code’ offers tips for making sure you are well prepared and safe, and for ensuring safety on the roads.
The Snow Code
In 2010 we experienced the coldest December on record in the UK for 100 years, with many homes and businesses making headlines for the levels of winter damage and subsequent losses suffered. Whilst we cannot predict the weather for subsequent winters, it is really important to make sure you are fully prepared. Winter weather is a concern for everyone and especially the most vulnerable in society.
- Listen to the weather forecasts – only travel if it is safe to do so
- Walk carefully on snowy and icy pedestrian areas and walkways
- Wear appropriate clothing and footwear
- Keep in touch – make a note of important phone numbers and make sure other people know where you are
- Stock up on winter products such as snow shovels, snow removal equipment and car de-icing kits
- Does your council have a twitter feed? Local authority Twitter feeds are often updated with local weather warnings and gritting updates
- Follow JPCS on Twitter for tips on winter safety
- Keep up to date with weather warnings and forecasts – sign up for alerts at the Met Office website
- Look out for winter safety news and information around your community on your local council website.
- Make sure your business and employees stay safe at work by making detailed winter maintenance and continuity plans, well in advance
- Avoid slips, trips and falls that lead to accidents, injuries and lost time! Stock up on anti-icing and de-icing solutions, such as Safethaw, for your car parks, pedestrian, and entrance areas
- Develop a business continuity plan and contingency strategies, and keep contact details accessible
- Know the law – check the legal situation on employment policies for severe weather conditions
- Keep your insurance up to date, making sure you have appropriate cover in order to repair your premises in case of an emergency
- Get an expert to check that gas fires, boilers and central heating are in full working order
- Inspect your premises and look out for measures to reduce heat loss and avoid burst pipes, such as basic repairs and keeping temperatures above 4C at all times
- Ensure your stock and equipment are kept above flood level
- Consult with your staff in advance, so they know what to expect
- Consider and plan for home working in severe weather conditions, keeping your employees safe and maintaining productivity. Consider video conferencing facilities
- Ensure you have the right technology inside and outside the office to support remote working and ensure the right back up is in place
- Communicate with your staff before, during and after severe weather spells.
- Encourage your employees to plan ahead and consider risks, and to stock up on their own winter products.
- Keep your insurance up to date, making sure you have appropriate cover for your needs
- Winter proof your home – carry out basic maintenance and repairs, seal drafts and fix windows
- Look out for freezing pipes and make sure you know how to defrost them safely
- Snow and ice can be harmful to pets’ paws. Apply anti-icing or de-icing products but look out for certain chemicals which can also be harmful to your pets’ paws or toxic if ingested
- Keep your driveway and garden paths clear by removing ice and snow – ideally applying an anti-icing solution such as Safethaw as a preventative measure
- Keep an eye out for your neighbours, particularly if they are elderly or vulnerable
- Look after your landscape – snow and ice, especially when compacted, can damage your plants, as well as corrode metalworks, decorative walkways or paving/conctrete, as can some de-icing products
- Keep antifreeze and other de-icing products safely out of the reach of children and pets.
On the road
- If you have to drive, be prepared for all weather conditions and plan your route accordingly
- Make sure your vehicle is well maintained and serviced and ensure the brakes, tyres, lights, batteries, windscreens and wipers are in good condition, as well as checking that the engine coolant levels are topped up and contain the recommended levels of anti-freeze
- If you cannot keep your car covered, for example in a garage, allow at least an extra 10 minutes before your journey to ensure you have time to de-ice your car safely before setting off
- Keep a de-icing kit in the car, including de-icer, cloth/rags, ice scraper, anti freeze
- Do not use boiling water on your glass, it may be a quick way to de-ice your car but it could shatter the glass
- Prepare and carry a roadside emergency kit including a flashlight with fresh batteries, a blanket, food, water bottles, mobile phone, flares, and a first aid kit
- Wet and frosty or icy roads greatly increase stopping distances, so make sure you reduce your speed in plenty of time when approaching junctions or queues of traffic
- Listen out for local and national radio stations and text services which provide a useful source of information during severe weather conditions.
As a specialist winter maintenance contractor, we have been assisting clients with winter planning and winter management, including the delivery of snow and ice removal services, for over four years.