The heatwave has been an enjoyable experience for many this summer, but it has also brought a range of major concerns. 

Apart from assessments of the longer-term implications for climate change and the immediate concerns about drought in large parts of the country, there is also the risk of wildfires. 

Often these are events that occur on moorland, damaging wildlife habitats but being safely out of the way of homes and commercial buildings. However, the extreme heat has extended this risk, so that some fires may occur much nearer to properties and put them at risk.

Greater Manchester business insurance customers might not have reason to worry if they are in built-up areas, but the situation may be different towards the edge of the conurbation, especially close to fields and moorland. Here, having cover against fire damage is vital.

Across the Pennines in West Yorkshire, the dangers of wildfires are all too apparent. Speaking to the BBC, firefighter and wildlife officer at West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service Richard Hawley called the challenge facing crews this year “unprecedented”.

He added: “It changes on a minute by minute basis. One minute they are knee-high, the next they are above your head. It is one of the most arduous fires our crews face.”

All this can threaten rural business premises, such as farms, tourism premises, cafes and holiday lets. Farms may be particularly threatened, with Richard Lockyer, Gloucestershire Fire and Rescue group manager, telling the BBC the county has seen 34 wildfires on farmland so far this year, compared with just two in 2021.

Even edge-of-town areas can be affected by fires. In the July heatwave, the village of Wennington on the fringes of London was devastated by a blaze that spread from a garden to engulf and destroy several properties.

The latest Met Office heat warning revealed that the hot spell will soon break dramatically in many places as electrical storms roll in. 

That may bring some much-needed rain, but that could also cause new perils for businesses, as the hard-baked ground will not easily absorb a sudden deluge of water, making flash flooding a significant risk for many.