Are you winter ready?

Our annual 'winter ready' campaign aims to support our residents through the coming months with useful hints and tips to help you keep yourself, and your home, safe and warm.

Month by month 'winter ready' hints and tips:

October

  • A complete winter checklist from the MetOffice
  • Time to test your central heating! Simply turn your system on for 15 minutes and check that the radiators are getting hot.
    Note:We have a legal obligation to service your boiler every year to ensure that it is safe and working correctly. A gas contractor will contact you annually to arrange this service directly. If they cannot get access we will contact you to try and arrange another, mutually convenient, appointment. To avoid the risk of having your gas supply capped (due to having an un-serviced boiler) we ask all residents to ensure our gas contractor is provided with access to your home.You will know our gas contractor by their ID badge.
  • Bleed radiators of air if you find they are not getting hot at the top. Use a radiator key* to and open the small valve at the top and to the side of the radiator slightly until water begins to drain out – tighten back up quickly! https://youtu.be/sjyEkLwHtTc
    *If lost, replacement radiator keys can be purchased at a minimal cost from your local DIY store.
  • You should be testing your smoke / carbon monoxide detectors regularly.https://www.stonewater.org/media/1025/time_to_test.pdfRemember; if you have battery operated alarms make sure that you have spare batteries for replacements just in case. If you suspect mains operated detectors are faulty call us on 01202 319119
  • If you have electric storage heaters don’t forget to turn up the ‘input’ charge to make sure you have sufficient stored heat for the colder nights.
  • If you're eligible it's time to get your free flu jab. To see if you qualify visit: www.nhs.uk/Conditions/vaccinations/Pages/who-should-have-flu-vaccine.aspx
  • For winter health tips from the NHS visit: www.nhs.uk/Livewell/winterhealth/Pages/Healthywinter.aspx
  • Be prepared and find out now what to do if your home was at risk of flooding. Visit: https://floodsdestroy.campaign.gov.uk/
  • Keep your children safe at Halloween - visit: https://www.safekids.org/tip/halloween-safety-tips
  • Remember to turn all your clocks back one hour at 2am on Sunday 28 October

November

  • How to get your home winter ready by the Met Office
  • Keep a regular eye out for weather warningsin your area so you are prepared for snow, ice or storms.
  • During the winter months, when there’s a big difference between the temperature inside and outside, it’s important to know how to reduce condensation at home. For details visit: www.cse.org.uk/advice/advice-and-support/damp-condensation
  • If you haven’t done so already, check your central heating is working correctly.
    To do this:
    - Turn your heating on (and ensure the timer is working)
    - You should keep your main living room around 21°C, and the rest of your home heated to at least 18°
    - After 20 minutes, check your radiators are starting to get warm (from the bottom up)
    If your radiators are not warm after 30 minutes residents should contact us on: 01202 319119
  • Firework safety - follow the Firework Code and make sure you are aware of these important regulations: www.gov.uk/fireworks-the-law
  • For advice on how to save money on your fuel bills visit: www.citizensadvice.org.uk/consumer/energy/energy-supply/get-a-better-energy-deal/save-money-on-your-gas-and-electricity/
  • See if you qualify for help with the cost of your heating by visiting: www.gov.uk/browse/benefits/heating
  • Check any existing pipe insulation (only where visible) to make sure it is in good condition to protect your external pipes and taps from freezing in cold weather.A cheap way to protect pipes, if insulation is missing, is to wrap them in old towels or blankets.
    Take particular care of 'condensate' pipes during low temperatures, as it is possible that 'condensate' pipes may freeze (if the pipe exits to the outside of your property). These are usually white overflow pipes; similar to ones you may find on a washing machine or sink waste pipe, and are designed to allow your boiler to dispose of any condensation to an outside drain.
    NEVER pour warm water over frozen external pipework as this can freeze immediately in sub-zero conditions, burst pipes and create a slip hazard.
    The pipe will usually be located on an external wall - outside from where your boiler has been installed.
  • Check that your home contents insurance is up to date - lights, candles and decorations at Christmas time increases the risk of fire.

December

  • What to do in a power cut by the Met Office
  • It's important to keep warm in winter: To help to prevent colds, flu and other health problems, national guidelines advise you heat your home to at least 18°C (65°F) and, if you can, you might prefer your living room to be slightly warmer.
  • Take extra care when travelling in bad weather - check trains and buses are running before you set out and for winter driving advice visit: www.theaa.com/driving-advice/seasonal/winter-checklist
    Avoid the risk of fire - be mindful when putting up decorations and don't overload sockets or extension leads with multiple light and appliances. https://www.fireservice.co.uk/safety/christmas-safety/
  • Visit our designated web page to see our office opening hours over the festive period- Link to follow
  • If you’ve been prescribed antibiotics or other medication, don’t forget to pick up your prescription before the Christmas holidays start. Many GPs and pharmacies will close over the holidays
  • If you need medical help over the holiday period when your GP surgery or pharmacy is closed, call NHS 111 or visit www.nhs.uk
  • Don’t fall foul of a nasty food bug this Christmas – defrost and cook your turkey thoroughly. www.nhs.uk/Livewell/Healthychristmas/Pages/cooking-turkey.aspx
  • With 2 million people over 75 living alone* please take a minute to check on your neighbours during the holidays. It will brighten their day and could even save a life. If you're worried about a relative or an elderly neighbour, contact your local council or ring the Age UK helpline on 0800 00 99 66. *Source: Age UK August 2016

January

February