Our aim is to ensure that, as the winter months approach, damage to properties and possessions are kept to an absolute minimum and that all our customers remain warm and safe.
Marc Mayall, our General Manager at Fortis Property Care said : “One of the highest risks to personal property during winter is damage caused by water pipes freezing and bursting. We’ve therefore put together some simple tips which can help residents reduce such risks and stay safe and warm during the cold months ahead.”
The practical tips – which are being supported by a social media campaign – include the following :
- Make sure stopcock and electrical consumer unit locations are known; stopcocks are usually found under a kitchen sink or in a downstairs toilet and electrical consumer units in a cupboard or in a hallway;
- Check for dripping taps and report any defects;
- Make sure you have home contents insurance;
- Never use naked flames to thaw frozen pipes;
- In the event of a severe weather warning, make sure you have plenty of food and water in your home, particularly if you are likely to be cut off by the snow;
- Make sure there is a torch handy in case power fails;
- Wear plenty of layers of clothing to make sure you retain body heat;
- If a pipe bursts, turn the water off at the stopcock immediately and then drain the system by turning on all cold water taps;
- Protect or remove vulnerable contents or equipment that may get damaged;
- If possible keep rooms heated and allow warm air to circulate. Leave windows open so that moist air can escape;
- If staying away from home, leave automatic central heating running continuously at 5 degrees centigrade;
- Get a trusted friend or neighbour to keep an eye on your home while you are away.
Marc concluded : “Protecting our homes against winter weather damage is an important annual occurrence and we would like to encourage all our residents to make sure their homes are winter ready; in the event when things do go wrong however, we would like to reassure our customers that we are here to help them withstand the cold season.”