Cheshire East Council and its partners are offering a range of advice and support to residents on how to keep warm, well and safe this winter.
This week, we remind people that there are numerous checks that can be completed, which can minimise the effects of bad weather.
Our advice includes:
● Insulate pipes and drain off outside taps to prevent frozen pipes;
● Know where your stop tap is and make sure you can turn it on and off with ease;
● If you are going away, consider asking a friend or neighbour to check on your house regularly. That way, if you have a burst, it will be discovered early;
● Leave your heating on if the weather is forecast to be freezing;
● Insulate your loft or walls to keep the heat in. Free and impartial advice about energy saving measures, grants and discounts is available from the Cheshire Green Doctor on 0808 168 3547 or visit: www.cheshireeast.gov.uk/helpwithheating;
● Fit draught proofing to seal any gaps around doors and windows;
● Get your boiler serviced regularly by a qualified engineer. Remember, for gas boilers, check that your engineer is Gas Safe registered. Oil-fired heating needs servicing too;
● If you don’t have central heating in your home, check to see if you are eligible for a grant at www.cheshireeast.gov.uk/helpwithheating;
● Be prepared for clearing ice and snow this winter – have a snow shovel, brush and grit or salt ready;
● If a member of your household is of pensionable age, has a disability, has a chronic illness, has hearing and/or visual difficulties or you have a child under eight-years-old, you may be eligible for free or priority services. You can contact your energy supplier to check;
● If electricity supplies go down in your area, do not assume that your supplier knows – call them and have your name, postcode, house number and telephone number handy and;
● If you have a burst pipe, collect the water in a bucket and switch off your central heating. Turn off your stop tap and turn on your sink taps to drain your water system.
Do not touch wiring or switches which you suspect may have been affected. If in doubt, turn off your electricity at the mains and call a plumber. For more information, contact United Utilities on 0845 746 2200 or visit: www.unitedutilities.com
Dr Matt Tyrer, Cheshire East Council’s acting director of public health, said: “We know that winter can be a daunting time of the year for some people but there are simple things that residents can do themselves, to help them stay warm, well and safe.
“For those that do need a little extra help, there is lots of support out there and we’ll be issuing advice and information throughout the winter period.
“I’d also like to encourage residents to keep an eye on friends, family members and neighbours during the colder weather, as some people can find it quite isolating.”
For further winter-related advice including information about getting your flu jab, visit: www.cheshireeast.gov.uk and scroll down to the winter wellbeing section. Advice can also be found on the council’s Facebook page www.facebook.com/cheshireeastcouncil and on Twitter @CheshireEast
Residents can help friends and neighbours, who are unable to access the internet, by downloading and printing off information and giving it to them.