As we continue through a period of uncertainty one thing is for sure, winter is coming. The cold weather can increase the probability of major disruption and damage to your property or vehicle. We do not know how a winter with COVID-19 will look, but we can prepare ourselves, our homes and our vehicles for the season ahead. By taking the following precautions you can help to ensure you are ready for winter.
Preparing your homes
- Regular inspections and maintenance of your property like clearing your gutters will help limit the risk of blockages.
- Keep your boiler on during the winter months. It’s important to check your boiler is in good health by having a regular service.
- Pre winter checks by your central heating service provider with indicate any improvements needed to the efficiency of your heating.
- If there is a risk of flooding try to move as many possessions upstairs. If your property has been flooded do not attempt to enter the premises until the electricity has been turned off at the mains.
- Check for carbon monoxide leaks: This is a silent killer which can easily be detected with an inexpensive test badge or battery-operated alarm.
- Make yourself aware your stopcock in case you need to stop the water supply quickly after frozen pipes.
- Keep updated on weather warning and Met Office reports.
- If properties are permanently unoccupied we would suggest disconnecting water supplies and draining all pipes and heating systems. However if you are only temporarily unoccupied heating systems should remain on to maintain a consistent temperature and avoid freeing.
It goes without saying that drivers need to keep their cars in good condition throughout the year, however even more so during the winter months. Recovery firms suggest that you’re twice as likely to break down during this season, so here are some precautions you can take to minimize the risk.
Preparing your vehicle
- Plan your route and check road conditions. Give yourself extra time to get to your destination.
- Make sure your car has been serviced .
- Check your battery. Cold weather also has a negative impact on the power a battery and if you haven’t changed your car battery recently, then it could become faulty in the cold.
- Keep a full tank of fuel. When there is a lot of empty space in the tank moisture can start to build up, and if this can dilutes the fuel can eventually freeze.
- Ensure your tyres are correctly inflated and don’t get below the minimum of 1.6mm. Also check your tyre pressures regularly, as these can change with a drop in air temperature.
- Clean your exterior lights and check that all your lights and indicators are working.
- Carry an emergency kit in case of a breakdown. This should include first aid kid, extra clothing, hi- visibility jacket, food and drink, antifreeze and windshield washer fluid, tow rope, jumper cables, fire extinguisher, warning light or road flares.