Temporary Closure: A Guide

Shearwater  Insurance

The spread of Coronavirus (Covid-19) has made it an incredibly difficult time for families and businesses. In order to address the current situation and to provide you with greater assistance during this uncertain period the following blog offers some guidance, from Pen Underwriting, on how to deal with temporary closures of premises.

The below is a checklist of risk control measures to consider in order to help secure buildings provided that you can adhere to the government instructions during this period and to use as a reference point for regular checks during temporary closedown periods.

Risk Control Measures:

Waste: Remove all external waste, pallets and empty skips ahead of closing.
Waste bins: Empty all waste bins and relocate to a secure area, ideally at least 10 metres from the building. If this is not possible and bins and skips are within 10m, these should have lockable lids.
Fire Systems: Ensure that any fire and/or sprinkler systems are fully operational.
Fire Doors: Carry out a check to ensure that internal fire doors are closed.
Building Utilities: Shutdown any non-essential electrical devices and building utilities.


-  Arrange for a weekly inspection of the building (internally and externally) – please remember to risk assess for any lone working issues.

-  Please ensure that you comply with existing government restrictions.

-  Please also follow any instruction/guidance regarding vulnerable people and lone worker risk assessments and only do this if you can adhere to the government instructions/guidance.

-  Consider the provisioning for alternative skilled personnel.

-  While, we can be flexible in respect of the weekly inspections, our current expectation is that an inspection must be carried out after 45 days (internally and externally) and a written record of that inspection kept although this requirement may change in line with Government requirements.

-  In the event you identify any defects or issues that require attention in line with these risk control measures then please rectify these or notify us if you are unable to do so.

Physical Security: Carry out a check to ensure physical security measures are in place e.g. fences are in good repair, windows are locked, shutters are in place, gates are locked.

Intruder Alarm: Make sure your intruder alarm is set and that the remote signaling is in place. Ensure sufficient numbers of keyholders are available to respond to an alarm activation within 20 minutes.

Maintenance: so far as is reasonably practical, there is an expectation that essential maintenance continues with any remedial measures completed again provided that you can adhere to the government instructions during this period. Premises that have Building Management Systems (BMS) with remote alerts should continue to be responded to.

Other Considerations:

If your site normally has 24-hour occupation and you wish to completely close the site, please contact us for advice.

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