Preparing for bad weather

Top 5 tips  how to keep warm in winter Top 5 tips how to keep warm in winter - How to keep warm and cosy over winter the Age UK Milton Keynes Handypeople share their top 5 tips For more energy saving tips visit httpwwwageukorgukmoneymattersconsumeradviceenergyefficiencyInsulate

By following routine checks and maintenance on your home‚ you can feel safer and more secure during the winter months.

Don't take risks when checking your property. Always seek professional help where appropriate.

Preparing for winter

Indoors

  • Service your boiler to make sure it's safe and working properly. Always use a opens link in new window Gas Safe Registered engineer. Some older and disabled people can have their gas appliances checked for free if they're on the Priority Services register with their supplier and meet the criteria. Ask your gas supplier for more information.
  • Make sure tanks and pipes are properly lagged, draught-proof your doors and windows and insulate your loft. Download the guide opens link in new window Save energy, pay less and the factsheet opens link in new window Help with heating costs.
  • Clear drain gratings and get the chimney swept.
  • Ensure that ventilators in rooms where they are used are not blocked.
  • Make sure your smoke alarm is working. Fit a carbon monoxide detector if you don't have one.
  • Make sure you know where the mains water stop valve (main stop cock) is so that you can turn it off in an emergency.
  • Check that electric fires are properly guarded.
  • Check that flexes on electrical appliances are undamaged and adaptors are not overloaded.

New advice for older people using oil-fired heating

In association with Age UK, OFTEC has launched a brand new guide to help older people in rural areas using oil-fired heating to save money and stay warm.

Download the guide Keeping warm this winter (PDF 1.5 MB)

Outdoors

  • Check the roof for cracked or dislodged tiles.
  • Check the gutters for cracks and debris.
  • Repair fences and gates, and don't leave loose items like garden furniture outside unsecured. They can blow around in high winds and damage your property.
  • Clear paving and driveways of leaves and moss to prevent slips and falls.

And don't forget to...

  • Stock your cupboards and freezer with basic foods in case it's too cold to go shopping. See the guide opens link in new window Healthy eating for tips on what to include.
  • Ask your local pharmacy if they offer a prescription pick-up and delivery service.
  • Keep emergency numbers, for instance for your plumber and utilities companies, somewhere you can easily find.
  • Make sure you have adequate, up-to-date insurance cover.

If you go away from home

Keep central heating or storage heaters set to come on at a low temperature when you are away. This will minimise the risks of tanks and pipes bursting through freezing.

Many insurance companies specify conditions if a house will be unoccupied for a certain amount of time. Always comply with these or it could seriously prejudice any claim. Get a neighbour or a friend to check on your house whilst you are away, and give them the contact number for a plumber and heating engineer in case of an emergency. Make sure they know where the stopcock is.

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