Winter Freeze Checklist

Published On : 02 Jan 2024

At this time of year it’s a good time to check some of the equipment that will help keep your business going if the next few months deliver the usual mix of heavy rainfall, freezing temperatures, icy conditions and snowfall. Read our guidance for more information and download our Winter Freeze Checklist to help you prepare your business for winter. 

Separators & Drainage

Separators are essential for avoiding pollution. If left unchecked, they can become blocked and their filters saturated, creating a flooding risk or causing polluted water to contaminate the local environment. Ignoring the state of your separators could result in hefty fines and prosecution. Environment Agency and EN standard EN858-2 states that separators should be serviced at least twice a year. 

Just before winter is a good time to do this as dust caused by long dry spells in the summer build up and turn into silt when it rains which can quickly block separators.

Ensure all drainage on your sites is running clear and free. Autumn is a good time to do this with the leaves dropping. If your gully pots become blocked with a build-up of leaves and debris a high level of water can mean they become overwhelmed. 

Winter Freezing

With winter fast approaching, and many businesses worried about rising heating bills, the last thing you want is the inconvenience, distress, and expense of frozen or burst pipes as temperatures fall. Follow our advice here to avoid being caught out by frozen or burst pipes this winter.

In a typical winter the Association of British Insurers (ABI), estimate Escape of Water (EoW) claims cost UK insurers £1.8 million a day1. The risk of EoW is not only expensive, it can lead to significant business interruption including unplanned evacuations and property damage which can take a considerable amount of time to repair.

If you store fuel on your site, the colder months can bring an increased demand and risk, with tanks and pipes liable to being damaged by freezing temperatures. A common problem for tanks as the temperature drops is burst pipework, so steps should be taken to protect them against corrosion and physical damage.

This year the UK had its hottest summer on record, with temperatures reaching over 40 degrees2Heating systems are likely to have been switched off for an extended period during this time, so the system should be checked before switching it back on to ensure the integrity of the tanks and pipes to avoid the risk of oil spills.

Prevention is always better than cure

Steps businesses can take, to help reduce the risk of winter damage, include:

Emergency PreparationsA winter-freeze prevention plan should be prepared or updated at least a month before the normal arrival time of freezing weather to ensure that action can be initiated at short notice to protect buildings.

As winter weather approaches, conditions can change very quickly and the ability to react can unexpectedly become hampered. Disturbances in public transport, roads, power/fuel supplies and other key services can throw normal emergency response plans off track so there is a need to be ready for unusual situations.

Protecting the building - It is essential that the envelope of a building is not breached by collapsing roofs or adjacent trees, equipment, infrastructure or ice dams, as well as keeping the interior of the building warm enough to prevent freezing.

Protecting water systems - One of the most common causes of water damage is the freezing of pipes. As ice forms it expands, often causing pipes to burst. When the pipes thaw, water can escape if the system has not been isolated, this may potentially result in business downtime or even closure.

Outdoor piping is far more exposed to freezing than indoor piping. Be particularly wary of outdoor piping that runs near openings into buildings or over key equipment sensitive to water damage. If burst pipes thaw and release water directly on to equipment it is likely that some damage and disruption will result. Shield or relocate critical equipment or re-route the piping if the water damage exposure is considered excessive.

So regardless of what the weather brings us this season, businesses should always take time to prepare for the worst. Download our Winter Freeze Checklist to help protect your business over the cold weeks ahead.

Want to know more?

To find out more about how OAMPS can support and protect your business, get in touch with the team today.



The sole purpose of this article is to provide guidance on the issues covered. This article is not intended to give legal advice, and, accordingly, it should not be relied upon. It should not be regarded as a comprehensive statement of the law and/or market practice in this area. We make no claims as to the completeness or accuracy of the information contained herein or in the links which were live at the date of publication. You should not act upon (or should refrain from acting upon) information in this publication without first seeking specific legal and/or specialist advice. Pen Underwriting Limited trading as OAMPS Hazardous Industries accepts no liability for any inaccuracy, omission or mistake in this publication, nor will we be responsible for any loss which may be suffered as a result of any person relying on the information contained herein. 

Preparing for winter

Preparing for Winter News

As the seasons march inexorably towards winter, it’s a good time to start thinking about the increase in orders for liquid fuel ahead of the colder months, and how you can work with your drivers and internal teams to minimise the likelihood of Road Traffic Accidents and claims for spillage or crossover/contamination while still managing to complete your deliveries.

Read More

Drink Driving

Driving & the Festive Party Season News

Whilst the law has a legal limit on alcohol, numerous studies have concluded that any amount can impair your ability to drive. The only safe option is to avoid alcohol completely if you’re driving as even ‘just one drink’ could put you over the limit.

Read More

We know that every business is unique, so at OAMPS, we make it our business to understand yours

Our Products

Our expertise covers all aspects of our clients’ requirements from manufacture to wholesale, distribution, import/export, storage, haulage, installation and servicing.