As extreme weather events become increasingly common, security leaders need to consider the best ways to protect their businesses. Damage to a business' physical location can halt business and place employees in danger.

There are several steps security leaders can take to protect themselves and their employees in the event of extreme weather. QBE North America suggests the following to help security leaders ready their property and employees this spring:

Prepare employees for emergencies: Locate, map and label indoor and outdoor shut-off valves (water, sprinkler, gas, etc.) and train employees on how and when to use them. Create an emergency plan and review business continuity plans regularly. 

Prepare buildings for potential damage: Inspect any exterior foliage and trees and trim as needed to prevent potential property damage and incoming power supply interruption. Check concrete, sidewalks, decks and any other walking areas where hazards may have resulted from winter weather and address as needed. Inspect and test all sump pump and de-watering equipment. Test fire and smoke detection systems.

Review stored flammable and combustible liquids, such as old paints, and discard any materials not used within the last year. Clean or replace HVAC air filters and schedule service if needed. Clean and safely store any winter-related power equipment and secure flammable fuels properly.

Assess damage after extreme weather: Conduct a damage assessment as soon as the area is safe to enter. Inspect all fire protection equipment for physical damage, including sprinkler heads, valves, pipes, hoses and portable extinguishers. Have damaged equipment cleaned, dried out and the electrical insulation tested. Service heating equipment by a qualified technician before returning it to operation. Monitor portable and emergency generator use for carbon monoxide buildup, power back feeds and improper fueling.