Stay Warm and Safe this Winter

As the weather gets colder and Winter sets in, we are sharing some practical tips and advice to help you stay warm and safe, and to protect you and your home during the cold weather.

If you have older neighbours or relatives please make sure that they are also safe and well – if you are worried about anyone you can call the Age UK helpline on 0800 055 6112.

 

Be prepared

Weather forecasts: Keep up to date with local weather forecasts so you can be prepared. You can watch weather forecasts which follow national and regional news programmes, tune into your local radio station or click here to visit the Met Office website.

Emergencies: Make sure you have the correct telephone numbers for people you may need to contact in an emergency.

Supplies: Keep your cupboards and freezer well stocked with food and essentials in case you are unable to get to the shops.

Care alarms: If you have a care alarm installed you can test it by initiating a call to the call centre by:

  • pressing the pendant
  • pressing the button on the base unit
  • pulling the orange cord.

Remember to keep them informed of any changes to your emergency contacts details/telephone numbers.

Insurance: We appreciate that home contents insurance is often overlooked when considering tight household budgeting, but it is so important to have should the worst happen such as a burst pipe or accidental damage. Having home contents insurance gives peace of mind.  Your home contents would be covered and can be put right or replaced. There are many different home contents policies to choose from including the National Housing Federation’s My Homes Contents Insurance which offers tenants affordable, flexible cover and a number of benefits.

 

Be Warm

Heating your home: By setting your heating to the right temperature (between 18-21ºC) you can keep your home warm. Set your heating to come on just before you get up and switch off after you’ve gone to bed. If it is very cold, set your heating to come on earlier and turn off later rather than turning the thermostat up.

Keeping your home warm: Keep your home snug at all times. This can be as easy as closing your curtains before it gets dark to stop warmth escaping and putting draught excluders on doors.

Keeping warm at night: You can use a hot water bottle or electric blanket to keep you warm in bed – but DON’T use both at the same time.

Clothing: Wrap up in several layers of clothing, this will keep you warmer than one thick layer. Wear a hat; we lose most of our body heat through our head. Wear sensible footwear something warm with a thick sole and a good grip.

Food and drink: Heat up from the inside by eating hot foods such as soups and casseroles. Why not cook one big dish of stew and then divide it into portions to eat later or to freeze. This is also a more cost effective way of cooking as produce is usually cheaper if you buy in bulk. Drink hot drinks, if you struggle to carry hot drinks why not make up a flask and keep it by your chair.

Exercise: Keep active, especially if your mobility is restricted, there are simple chair exercises you can do which will help to keep your circulation flowing, which in turn will help to keep you warm (remember to consult your GP or practice nurse about what exercise is safe to do).

 

Help With Your Heating Bills

Winter Fuel Payment: A Winter Fuel Payment of between £100 and £300 tax-free is available to help you pay your heating bills if you were born on or before 5 August 1953.

Cold Weather Payments: A Cold Weather Payment may be available to you if you receive certain benefits. Payments are made when your local temperature is either recorded as, or forecast to be, an average of 0c or below over seven consecutive days. You’ll get a payment of £25 for each seven-day period of very cold weather between November 1 2018 and March 31 2019.

Energy efficiency: The Energy Saving Trust has advice on how to reduce bills and make your home more energy efficient. They can also advise on grants and schemes available around the UK. Find out more online by visiting their website www.energysavingtrust.org.uk

 

Be Healthy

Flu jab: Keeping warm over the winter months can help prevent colds, flu or more serious health conditions such as pneumonia. Flu is a highly infectious illness that can spread rapidly. You may be eligible for a free flu jab if you’re at risk of complications from flu.

 

Your home

Lag your pipes: Cover your water pipes – including those outside your home, in the loft and unheated rooms, with a foam tube, called lagging.

It’s easy to fit with no tools needed, available from most DIY stores and relatively cheap. Doing this now could save you huge costs and upset in years to come by helping to prevent your pipes bursting and flooding your home. If you cover your hot water pipes while you’re at it, you’ll keep your water warmer for longer reducing your energy bill.

Find your stop tap: Make sure you know where your stop tap is (most are under the kitchen sink), as you may need to turn your water off quickly in an emergency. Remember ‘right for tight, left for loose’.

Service your boiler: Make sure you get your boiler serviced annually (in accordance with the manufacturer’s recommendations).

Burst Pipes: If you have a burst pipe turn off the supply at the stopcock and call us immediately.   Out of hours please ring Welsh Water on 0800 052 0130.

 

How To Videos

In this section, there are “How To” videos to help you with problems you may have with your homes

Defrosting a Condenser Pipe

Last Winter, during a long period of cold weather, many people experienced a gas boiler failure.

In most cases this was because of the condensate pipe freezing.

This video explains how you can defrost the condensate pipe and how to switch the gas boiler back on.

To view the video, please click: HERE

 

Keeping your Home Warm

This video has useful hints and tips on keeping your Home Warm.

To view the video, please click: HERE

 

Unblocking Your Toilet

This video will help you if you need to unblock your toilet

To view the video, please click: HERE

 

If you need advice, please call us on 029 2046 8490