Originally published by Allianz Risk Consulting


As more businesses are faced with shutting down their operations temporarily due to the recent coronavirus outbreak, we have developed the following collection of possible loss prevention measures which can serve as a guide to help you individually plan for a temporary shutdown.


All of the recommendations are technical advisory in nature from a risk management perspective and may not apply to your specific operations. Please review recommendations carefully and determine how they can best apply to your specific needs prior to implementation. Any queries relating to insurance cover should be made with your local contact in underwriting and/or broker.


We remain available for your loss prevention needs. Please contact your local ARC representative if you have any questions or want to discuss any specific issues.


The measures listed below can help to prevent or mitigate the impact of damages occurring during a shutdown. However, this is not a comprehensive list and must be checked by the business against its actual requirements and circumstances and planned individually:



  • Reduce the quantities of combustible materials located inside the buildings as much as possible. Combustible materials may include raw and finished goods, packaging, pallets, waste, dust, lint, oil, flammable/ combustible liquids,
  • Ensure safe separation distances (1.5 m or 5 ft minimum) are maintained between all electrical equipment and combustible
  • When prudent, ensure all technical rooms (i.e. mechanical, electrical, etc.) are free of combustible materials.
  • Verify all external combustible storage is located a safe distance away from the buildings. This distance varies depending on the combustibility of the storage and the building construction; however, provide at least  15  m (50 ft) separation if



  • Place all combustible and flammable liquids in appropriate storage areas (i.e. cutoff rooms, safety cabinets, etc.). When prudent close or seal all storage containers.
  • Remove all waste rags for safe disposal off-site.
  • Ensure essential ventilation systems continue to operate, if required, for removal of flammable vapors.


  • Shut down all hazardous process equipment and utilities, where possible and operationally appropriate, including nonessential flammable liquid and gas
  • Check whether you can isolate services at the mains and drain all water systems down, except water for fire sprinklers, fire pumps, etc., which should always remain operational.
  • Maintain temperatures at or above 5°C or 40°F for any areas with water-filled piping, such as fire sprinklers, fire pumps, process equipment, etc., unless otherwise required for operational
  • Check whether electricity can be shut down for the premises, except where needed for fire alarms, fire protection systems, security systems,
  • Park all powered industrial vehicles in a fire segregated room or in an area free of combustible


  • Fit quality security mortise deadlocks on all entry/exit doors, taking into account company
  • Secure all windows with any applicable
  • Where possible, and considering escape routes, lock entry posts to prevent unauthorized caravans/ vehicles from
  • Isolate electric roller shutters if
  • Maintain any security systems. The prevention of false alarms (such as from wildlife, temperature and humidity, etc.) should be achieved by removing the cause and not by turning off the systems or isolating affected
  • Check whether you can shut down all nonessential electrical lighting if possible. Keep only the minimum level of lighting where appropriate for inspection, security patrols and access
  • Ensure all building access keys are accounted for by use of a key logbook. Change locks if they are
  • Record and list all visitors and contractors. Ensure building entry and lockdown procedures are available and adhered
  • Immediately repair any breach in building or perimeter security.
  • Make all efforts to arrange for a manned 24/7 guarding presence at the site or overnight patrols by an approved guarding firm or plant representatives. Any patrols should be at random intervals and times to ensure any pattern is not


  • Visit the building(s) periodically (at least weekly is recommended) and maintain detailed records of all observations. Correct all noted deficiencies promptly.
  • For health and safety reasons, if possible no person should be allowed to enter the building(s) unaccompanied or without the use of an efficient communications method. Always notify a colleague that the building is being entered and of the expected duration of the
  • Verify the following as part of the inspections:
    • All exterior building openings, such as doors and windows, are properly secured to prevent unauthorized
    • All electronic monitoring systems (i.e. fire alarms, fire pumps, security systems, etc.) appear to be in good working condition (i.e. power on, no alarms, ).
    • All fire sprinkler systems, including water supplies such as fire pumps and water tanks, appear to be in good operating
    • No signs of unauthorized entry, vandalism or
    • Proper maintenance of building and
  • Remove evidence of vandalism/graffiti and block any broken windows/entry points immediately when they are


  • Maintain the building in a good state of repair.
  • Make sure the building is watertight by suitable repairs (i.e. roofs, guttering, etc.)


  • Make all efforts to inspect, test and maintain all fire protection and detection systems to remain operational, including the following:
    • Fire alarm systems, including automatic fire detection.
    • Fire sprinkler systems, including monthly recorded inspections of sprinkler control valves to ensure they remain locked in the open
    • Fire pumps, including weekly or monthly testing to verify proper operation; see fire pump inspection checklist
    • Fire protection water supplies, including water tanks.
    • Fire extinguishing systems.
    • Portable fire extinguishers.
    • Fire doors.

To continue reading and download the fire inspection checklist, visit 



















Business owners concerned about ‘perfect storm’ for break-ins during COVID-19 crisis

The article below is reprinted from CTV News regarding Toronto, Canada based non-essential business properties. While this is a Canadian article, we foresee break-ins being an issue in United States-based non-essential businesses as well. Commercial Asset Preservation is available and able to repair and secure properties that have sustained damage. We also can provide oversight for dark or closed properties. Contact us to discuss your property needs.

Business owners concerned about ‘perfect storm’ for break-ins during COVID-19 crisis

TORONTO — Non-essential businesses closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic are being targeted in a series of break-and-enters in Toronto.

The Federal, a restaurant near Dundas St. W. And Dufferin St., had its front door smashed in early Monday morning. The owner says the thief broke in and stole a laptop and cash, and estimates the incident will set him back about $6,000 during an already uncertain time.

“There’s no guarantee that we’re going to be able to make it through this,” Zach Slootsky, the owner of The Federal, told CTV News Toronto. He fears the restaurant, which was opened eight years ago, will not be able to survive much longer.

“We have a three-month plan, for now, we had a three-month plan before the break-in and that sets us back maybe another month,” he said.

“While we’re waiting here in limbo, we’re exposed and we just have this criminal liability that criminals are exploiting now.”

Fashion house Horse Atelier, near Queen St. W. And Bathurst Ave. was targeted last week. Co-founder Heidi Sopinka said the burglar deactivated their alarm system and stole about $3,000 worth of clothing. They also ransacked the store, destroying clothing and damaging the property.

“As you can see it’s a perfect storm,” Sopinka said. “All the stores are closed and empty and everyone’s at home. And the prison system is at capacity, and the judicial system is shut down.”

She worries as businesses sit vacant during the mandated closure of non-essential services they are an easy target for criminals. Horses Atelier has now added security cameras to act as a deterrent for future break-ins.

Other businesses have been boarded up as a preventative measure, and some restaurants have posted signs indicating there is no cash or alcohol kept on the premises.

Toronto police say they have seen the number of commercial and residential break and enters “fluctuate” over the past few weeks, but don’t have hard data to share.

“We expect if we drill down into those numbers we would see an increase in commercial break and enters and a decrease in residential break and enters,” Toronto police spokesperson Meaghan Gray said. “We are watching that closely.”

break in

Gray said police have introduced targeted patrols in areas that may be more susceptible to crime.

“That’s being led at the division using intelligence led data to determine any possible hotspots to make sure that as police officers do their regular patrols day to day, that they’re visiting those areas,” Gray said.

Independent business owners, who have been seeing little to no income for weeks, say break-ins are a devastating blow during desperate times.

“If we’re exploiting each other’s weaknesses right now when we’re all weak, we’re not going to make it through this,” Slootsky said.

Business owners can refer to the Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design (CPTED) for advice on how to protect their business property, and be a less appealing target.