As snow is predicted to hit the North East, it is critical that businesses have a continuity plan in place to ensure their operation withstands the risks of freezing weather.

Business Continuity Management, a framework for identifying potential threats and building organisational resilience to respond to such threats, can safeguard the interests of key stakeholders, reputation, and the brand.

Organisations use this framework to protect their people, assets, reputation and ultimately profits. It is a managers responsibility to ensure the continuation of business operations when an organisation faces potential disruption, from interrupted service to lost customers.

Andy Sinclair, Total Water Solutions, said: ‘We urge North East business leaders to consider their water systems as part of their Business Continuity Management. The risk of damage to water infrastructure rises in cold weather – it can cause water pipes to freeze, which can lead to leaks, burst pipes, damage to your premises and disruption to your water supply, all of which can lead to significant repair costs.’

Commercial water specialists, Total Water Solutions, have prepared guidance to help north east businesses prepare for the increasingly harsh winter weather.

Andy added: ‘”Being part of Northumbrian Water Group, our expertise and experience is second to none, forged in managing, improving and maintaining water infrastructure to serve over 4.5 million people in the UK with fresh, clean drinking water. We are best placed to support businesses and have prepared some simple steps avoid disruption over the winter.”

Many older buildings have no records of where the water pipes run – how can you manage your system without all of the information? An accurate map of your water system can highlight the risks so you can take action.

Insulating pipes is cheap and effective – identify and insulate any exposed pipes in lofts, attics or crawlspaces with lagging to save money. A more robust insulation or heat tape is the best solution outdoors.

Over the Christmas break, it would be advisable to drain the water system to prevent them freezing and bursting.

If you can’t draining the system, we’d suggest keeping the heating on at a reasonably low temperature (about 15°C) to avoid winter damage.

Underground leaks can be almost undetectable meaning your pipes could still have sustained damage from cold weather, and you might not know about it. Therefore, it is vital to have a clear view of water usage to spot the signs of a leak as early as possible.