Flood protection for business property

What to do if your business is flooded

Guide

In the event that your business has been flooded your first priority must be safety. Ensure the safe evacuation of your property and that all staff, customers and anyone else on your premises is evacuated to a safe point away from the flood. Do not re-enter your business property until you are sure it is safe to do so. Even if a building looks safe, it may have suffered structural damage and could collapse. You also risk a fatal electrical shock if the mains electricity has not been properly disconnected.

Flooding: electrical and gas safety

Before you carry out any clean up after a flood check that the electricity supply is switched off at the mains. If you aren't sure the electricity is turned off, get a qualified electrician to do so. Get any electrical appliances that have come into contact with flood water checked by a qualified electrician before using them again.

If your heating system runs off a gas supply you must get a Gas Safe registered engineer to carry out an inspection after a flood. Find a Gas Safe registered engineer.

Clearing up flood damage

Bear in mind that flood water may contain sewage, chemicals and waste matter. Protect yourself and others assisting in the flood clean up by wearing suitable protective clothing to prevent possible infection. If you are using a pump to remove excess water, place the generator outside the building to avoid the risks associated with the build-up of carbon monoxide fumes.

See after a flood - clearing up.

Record flood damage for insurance purposes

Once it is safe to re-enter your business premises, make a record by photographing flood damage to the building, equipment and goods. Check with your insurance company before you start salvaging goods and repairing damage after the flood. Your insurance company can often recommend suitable tradesmen to help you, and may be willing to make an interim payment to help you get your business going again as quickly as possible. Local authorities usually provide skips and extra rubbish collections for items that your insurance company has agreed you can throw away. Find your local council in Northern Ireland.

You may find it quicker and safer to replace damaged items rather than repairing them. You may need expert advice on the best way to repair damage to the building.

Your business will need to start trading again as soon as possible. A good flood plan should include a list of key contacts, such as suppliers. You may be able to operate from temporary business premises while repairs are carried out.

You should also consider how to make your premises more flood resistant to future floods. Prepare a business flood plan.

Flood damaged goods

If you have goods that have been damaged due to flooding you may choose to sell these products at a cut cost price citing that they are flood damaged goods. If you are going to sell flood damaged products you must ensure the goods conform to a particular minimum standard by meeting your legal requirements. See supplying satisfactory and safe goods and services. You can also contact Trading Standards Service Northern Ireland on Tel 0300 123 6262 for further advice on selling flood damaged goods.

See selling goods that have been damaged and goods destroyed so that they're not saleable.