If it’s freezing, stay as snug as a bug in a rug
Book a boiler service – dull but a good idea
Imagine your boiler breaking down mid-winter. Not a nice prospect when it’s -3°C. So as prevention’s better than cure, getting it serviced (if it hasn’t been already) by an engineer who’s Gas Safe registered (so they’re safe and legal) is a must-do.
Everyone should know where the stopcock is
The stopcock (or stop valve) is a tap or lever that controls water flow into your home. If your pipes freeze, burst or leak, the water will need to be turned off. So why not have a quick house-meeting to show everyone at home where it is and how to use it.
Make sure your pipes are toasty warm too
Even pipes like to be wrapped up against the cold. So whether they’re in the loft, garage or other cold areas, insulate any exposed pipes with lagging (along with the bodies and joints of any taps). Also, don't forget about your outside taps.
Keep the heating ticking over on low when you're not home
We’re not suggesting you keep the heating on full blast, but it's a great idea to either have it on low or at least once a day to help keep warm water flowing through the pipes. The reasons? To keep your home from getting too cold and prevent central heating pipes from freezing and potentially bursting.
Feel your radiators for cold patches
If a radiator is cold in some places but warm in others, air could be trapped inside. To remove an air pocket, you’ll need to bleed the radiator with a radiator key. Just make sure your heating is turned off and mind you don't get sprayed! Once the air’s been let out, your radiator should heat up evenly as normal. Simple.
Icy paths can be a paaaaaaaaain!
No one wants to fall over on a slippery path this winter. The answer? A tablespoon of salt or sand per square metre should do the trick. Also, don’t be tempted to use hot water to melt ice as it could refreeze into black ice.
Stock up on essentials (but don’t go OTT)
In case you can’t get out or deliveries can’t get to you, get in some bits and bobs and make sure you’ve enough repeat-prescription medication if you need it. Having a first aid kit is a good idea too.
Be neighbourly – it’ll be appreciatedIf they can’t get outside, elderly and vulnerable people can get lonely and feel isolated. So be a good neighbour and pop round for a chat, check if they need anything and see if they’re warm enough. It could make the world of difference.
If you’re insured with us, make a note of our Claims Team’s numberPlease call us on 0345 604 4215 if you need to make a claim (lines are open 24 hours a day).
Be prepared for when it hammers down
The last thing you want to find after a storm is your barbeques fallen over and broken a chair, or the trampoline’s now next door.
Rain on the roads? Our tips could help you loads
3 things it’s well worth checking before you head anywhere – the weather, the traffic and alternative routes.