Coronavirus: Returning to Work

There’s been a lot of movement for businesses over the last few weeks.

That means there’s a lot for you to do to ensure that your business is COVID-secure, including displaying the government notice in your window to show your customers that you have read and taken steps to follow the guidance. You can access that notice here.

We’ve put together some handy hints and tips to help you get ready to open your doors to customers, as and when the government allows you to do so. We thought we’d remind you about just some of the things we recommend when preparing to return to work.

Meter reads

It’s important that you take a meter read (if you can safely), when you reopen, for any utility products you take from us, to ensure that you only pay for what you’ve used. We’d recommend that you do this monthly to ensure your bills are as accurate as possible.

Submitting your meter read is easy to do and only takes a minute. Either simply log on to your Customer Zone at switchingon.com/customerzone or email us at meterread@switchingon.com with the read followed by E: Electricity, G: Gas or W: Water. Remember, if you email us to quote your account number and the date the reading was taken. We’d recommend you provide your meter read on or around 25th of each month.

Water quality

If your business has been closed, your water supply may have stagnated. Unless steps are taken before you reopen, there’s a risk of adverse drinking water and potential risks to health. To ensure the water is safe to drink, we’ve posted some simple instructions here.

Telephone and broadband checks

Making sure your telephone line is working may be low on the list of things for you to check, but it is essential to ensuring that you receive those important calls and orders.

Try making a test call to make sure the line is working ok and, if you can, ask someone to call you too, to make sure you can receive calls as well as make them. If there’s a problem, don’t worry. Most problems can be solved by carrying out a few simple checks yourself:

  • Check that all cables are firmly connected
  • If you’re using a cordless phone the battery may have run down. Make sure the phone is plugged in and try recharging the handset or replacing the batteries. If this doesn’t work, try connecting a different handset to the line to make sure that the handset isn’t faulty
  • If you’re using an internal extension, try plugging the handset directly into the termination point to make sure it isn’t the internal extension that is faulty
  • If you asked us to put a call diversion on your line then don’t forget to remove it if it’s no longer needed. Simply visit switchingon.com/coronavirus-call-divert and follow the onscreen instructions to request removal

Broadband

Open-up your browser and try loading a few webpages to check everything Is running ok. You could also try sending yourself a couple of test emails. If you’re having issues, try these simple tips:

  • Check that all cables are firmly connected
  • Check the power light is “on” on your router. You may have unplugged it if your premises were going to be empty for a while
  • Try rebooting your router. Switch your router off and on again and leave it for 10 minutes to synchronise.

If you’re still having issues with either your telephone or broadband service, there’s more troubleshooting advice available on our website. Simply visit switchingon.com/telecoms-help.

Electricity and gas checks

Electricity and gas are amongst those services that are just expected to work, so they are often forgotten about. Yet they are essential to every business.

When preparing to open for business, we’d recommend doing a few checks to make sure your business is safe:

  • Carry out visual checks to ensure your electrical equipment, light switches and plugs are all working correctly. If not, check the consumer unit to make sure nothing has tripped
  • Immediately remove any equipment from use, if the plug or connector is damaged or showing burn marks or stains (which may suggest overheating)
  • If you believe you have an electrical emergency or have a power cut, call 105 from your mobile to get information, advice and any updates on power outages in your area
  • If you turned off your gas at the meter, don’t forget to turn it back on
  • Check your gas appliances are working correctly. Never use a gas appliance is you think it’s not working properly. Signs to look out for include yellow or orange flames, soot or stains around the appliance and pilot lights which frequently blow out
  • If you have a carbon monoxide alarm, make sure it complies with current safety standards (BS EN 50291) and carries the Kitemark
  • Check your gas safety certification is up to date. All premises with gas should have a Gas Safety Check every year
  • If you smell gas, suspect a gas leak or are concerned that fumes containing carbon monoxide are escaping from a gas appliance, then you should open all doors and windows, shut off the gas supply at the meter and call the free Gas Emergency Services line on 0800 111 999 immediately
  • If you need an engineer to check your gas services, make sure they are a Gas Safe registered engineer