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Winter weather checklist

Christmas and New Year planning - Thursday, Nov 28, 2013

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Whatever you are doing this Christmas and New Year it is always a good idea to plan ahead so that you avoid accidents, damage and costly repairs.

Winter weather checklist

Burst and frozen water pipes can cause dreadful damage so here are some tips on how to avoid your pipes freezing this winter:

  • Check that your loft is properly insulated including the sides of your water tank and the water pipes in your attic, on really cold days open the loft trap door from time to time to let heat in.
  • Re-washer dripping taps because if they freeze they'll block the pipe. This will also it will save up to a litre of water a day and energy if it's a hot tap
  • Make sure you know where your stop cock is and check regularly that you can turn it off easily in an emergency. It's handy to label it so you remember where it is in a panic
  • In very cold weather the heating will need to be on low, or set to come on a couple of times a day, especially if you're going away.
  • If you are going away  for any length of time maybe think about draining your heating and water system
Other preventative measures to consider in the winter include:
  • Have your boiler serviced at least once a year and get gas boilers and appliances checked to ensure they are working safely and efficiently.
  • Regularly check that your smoke alarms are working and if you have not got one think about getting a carbon monoxide alarm installed
  • Clean any lint from your tumble dryer venting system - it can be a fire hazard
  • If you have a fireplace now is a good time to hire a professional to inspect and clean the chimney – perhaps ask about having a screen over the chimney top to keep debris out

It's also a good idea to have your vehicle fully serviced before winter starts as well as remember to do your own checks before venturing out in freezing weather:

  • Lights are clean and working
  • Battery is fully charged
  • Fluids are all topped up, especially windscreen wash (to the correct concentration to prevent it freezing), anti-freeze and oil
  • Windscreen, wiper blades and other windows are clean
  • Tyre condition, tread depth and pressure (of all the tyres, including the spare)
  • Brakes are working well

And stock up on grit, salt and perhaps a toboggan

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