As temperatures hit freezing across the UK, venue managers armed with large bags of grit and salt, are clearing paths and making safe their common areas. Whilst such acts of safety are done with the best intentions, the responsibilities and obligations of doing so are far more complicated than you might expect. In truth a simple act of kindness can in fact have detrimental implications if somebody was to slip or fall but failing to act properly can be equally damaging – it is a complicated matter that is best discussed with legal personnel or your insurers.
As flooding and the adverse weather conditions continue to rage on, it is becoming more and more important that your business takes precautions to protect yourself from potentially devastating damage.
This is why we have chosen to provide you with some practical advice on how to better protect yourself from the unpredictable and dangerous weather we have been seeing for the last two months. Make sure your leisure facility, sports club or social club is ready to get back to normal sooner if you have been affected, or prepare now to limit the impact if you predict flooding or wind damage may be on its way.
How to tell if you may be at risk
To get a better idea of whether your sports or social club is at risk from flooding, there are some factors to consider:
Does your site or locality have a history of flooding? If you have not been at this location long, find out from local residents if you are at risk from dangerous waters.
Are you close to a large body of water? eg. rivers, streams, lakes, reservoirs etc?
Are you located on a low lying area which would cause you to be at greater risk? It should be possible to find out if your property is situated on a known flood plain, so be sure to do some research. The following websites are a useful source of information.
Preparing for flooding if you are at risk
There are things you can do to protect yourself and your property if you believe you are at risk from flooding.
Sandbags and Barriers
Make use of any sandbags, or barriers than can be installed at the doorways of your leisure facility. If you want to know where you can get access to sandbags and other protective measures, contact your local Environment Agency.
Moving Equipment and Carpets
If possible, you should move all equipment from the lower floors. This is especially true for social clubs who may have items which would be expensive to replace should they be damaged by flood water such as gaming machines and pool tables. Moving sports equipment from outside storage where it is more likely to become damaged or lost is also advisable, and relocating expensive sporting equipment to high ground will also help you re-open faster after this disruption. It is sometimes worth taking up carpets and moving them to a higher floor if you predict that flooding is a likely eventuality.
Ensure that drains and gutters in, on or around your premises are kept clear and in good working order.
If your structure has a basement try and clear the basement and route the water flow into these areas and pump out, it is better to flood a basement and actively pump the water out, rather than have the flood water fill up the ground floor (where significantly more expensive and harder to replace damage would be caused).
Have a drying company on standby in order to get them to set up industrial dehumidifiers to start the drying process as soon as the flood has waned to avoid permanent damage.
Finally, turn off any electric at your venue if flooding is predicted. Failing to do so can cause immense damage and increase the cost of repairs significantly.
To find out more about flood coverage and how our bespoke insurance brokerage could assist your sports and leisure facility, contact us on 0844 488 9204 or use our contact sheet.