Businesses warned to be vigilant in case of frozen pipes

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Business Stream, Scotland’s largest non-domestic water supplier, has warned Brechin businesses and public sector bodies to be vigilant against frozen pipes and flooding after 2011’s mild winter.

The snow which fell recently was a warning shot to businesses, according to Business Stream, which responded to 1200 emergency calls in 2010 from Scottish organisations suffering the impact of frozen and burst pipes.

Ian Hewson, water and waste water solutions manager at Business Stream, said there was a chance 2011’s mild winter could have lessened the urgency with which businesses approached planning for the colder months.

He outlined that frozen and burst pipes could cause businesses severe financial problems through lost trading and clean-up costs.

Business Stream has created a winter alerts text messaging service, which any business or organisation can sign up to and receive alerts when freezing temperatures are forecast.

This will provide businesses with an early warning to enable them to prepare for the next 48 hours.

Ian said: “The problems caused by 2010’s big freeze were very prominent in the run-up to winter last year, which didn’t really materialise in any significant way.

“The good news is that it’s relatively easy to protect against frozen pipes, but businesses and public bodies have to make sure they know what to do and when to take action so as not to be caught out again.”

Business Stream’s winter alerts service will update customers with weather information and also highlight steps which can be taken to help significantly reduce the risk of damage to property and the cost of lost business.

This can include making sure pipes and water meters are lagged and leaving heating on at low levels when premises are empty.

The big freeze in 2010 was estimated to have cost the Scottish economy up to £15 million a day that year.

This year, forecasters are warning an even colder winter could be on the way.

To find out more about Business Stream’s new alert service please visit: www.business-stream.co.uk/emergencies/winter-alerts.

Businesses can also find advice on preventing burst pipes at: www.business-stream.co.uk/emergencies.