Are you ready for the freeze?

Are you ready for the freeze?

As winter approaches and the cold sets in, we look at the best way to prepare for when the temperatures drop. Whether it is looking after your pipes or pets, it’s important that you stay safe, as well as mitigating any potential damage to your property.
Ways in which you can prevent the pipes in your property from freezing over are:
  • Insulate your loft and the sides of your water tank by wrapping them in lagging.
  • Open your loft trap door and any sink cupboards on cold days to let the heat in.
  • Know where the stopcock is so you can easily locate it to turn the water mains off.
  • Check pipes regularly to make sure they are not frozen or burst.
  • Maintain your pipes by making sure to re-washer any dripping taps, if they freeze they will block your pipes.
In the event of your pipes freezing or a burst pipe make sure you get the help from an approved plumber for appropriate advice.
It’s important to not only check all heating appliances are working properly before the cold sets in, and to make sure that no cold air is sneaking in anywhere, making your heating less efficient.
  • Block any draughts by checking for any gaps around your home where chilly breezes can sneak in, this will be most likely around windows, doors, loft hatches and pipes that lead outside.
  • Bleed your radiators so any trapped air within them is released, allowing hot water to fill every part of your radiator and warm your house more efficiently.
  • Get a boiler service every year, as everyone starts to switch their central heating on the surge in gas consumption can lead to an increase in boiler breakdowns.
Personal Care
When the temperature drops, and the chances of flooding or heavy snow fall loom, it is also important to keep yourself safe. 
  • Create a Power-Cut Kit by putting together a handy kit so you can make sure you still have the essentials you need, such as; a torch, batteries, a first aid kit, any family and emergency contact information, and warm coats.
  • If you have pets, keep them safe. Flood water can contain sewage which in some cases can be fatal to your cat or dog.
  • Prepare your car for ice and snow by making sure you have everything you need to scrape ice and snow off the car, such as an ice-scraper, de-icer, and a bottle of windscreen washer fluid.
  • Create a Winter Travel Kit for your car by making up an emergency kit at the start of winter to keep in the car, this could include a blanket, shovel, torch and batteries, snacks, ice-scraper, and extra screen wash.
  • Take care on the road if you’re driving in snowy or icy weather, make sure you reduce your speed and stick to major roads.
  • Lastly, make sure you stock up on hot chocolate and good films for those snug nights in!
If your property does suffer any damage, it is important to tell your insurers or insurance brokers as soon as possible so they can assist you in any way possible
  • If it looks like your property is going to flood, make sure your keep you insurance policy in a water-tight bag in a safe place and keep a note of your insurer's helpline number handy.
  • If you have experienced any damage to your property, make sure you take pictures of any damage when it's safe to do so and get in touch with your insurer if needed
  • If your property has flooded, use a permanent ink pen to mark on the wall the height the flood water got to. Do this in every room affected by flooding.
What next?
In order to be best prepared for any eventuality, we recommend that you keep track of the weather forecast and in particular any severe weather warnings that may be issued in your locality. The Met Office 'National Severe Weather Warnings' webpage is a very useful tool to assist you with this. 
Lastly, if you would like more information on how to prepare for the winter months, or have any insurance related questions on this subject, please give us a call on the number listed below.
01789 766888

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