As the end of the year approaches, you’ve probably got loads on your mind – from gift shopping and travel plans to choosing an outfit for the Christmas party. But there’s one thing that could cost you dearly if it slips your mind. It’s winter-readying your home.

We’re not talking about putting up the decorations (though they’re important too). We mean protecting your home from a winter emergency. Why? Because as the big day gets closer, so do the cold snaps that can burst pipes, bust boilers and setback your bank balance.

A leak or burst is enough to deflate the best party plans. While the cost of calling out a plumber or replacing damaged possessions would give anyone a Blue Christmas.

Don’t let a cold snap catch you unawares

Thankfully, most winter emergencies can be prevented with a little preparation, such as: 

  • Lagging your pipes - When the water around your home gets too cold it can freeze and expand. That's when your pipes could suffer a leak or could burst. Just like you wrap up in festive knitwear to stay warm, lagging your pipes helps to protect them as the temperature drops.
  • Leave your heating on low – If you’re going away, protect your pipes from freezing by turning your heating to a low level or scheduling it to switch on for an hour in the morning and afternoon while you’re gone.
  • Servicing your boiler – During the colder months, your boiler works harder to keep your home warm. That’s why boilers often breakdown in the winter. Remember to have yours serviced regularly to keep it running smoothly.

These are just some of the simple things you can do to prepare your home for winter.

What if you – or a loved one – faced an emergency?

The Argus:

If you suffered a leak or a burst pipe, would you know how to turn off your home’s water supply? Don’t wait for a crisis to find out – find your stop tap and check it’s working today, so you’ll be sure what to do if disaster strikes.

If you’re concerned how you or someone you know would cope if your water supply was disrupted during cold weather, we’re here to help. Our Priority Services Register is a confidential list of customers with individual needs, so our staff know how best to support them and who to prioritise in an emergency. Put your mind at ease by applying for you or a loved one to be added to our Priority Services Register.

How we’re protecting your home and community

As the temperature changes, the ground can freeze and thaw. This causes the earth to shift, putting pressure on our pipes. If they break, leaks or bursts can happen.

We’re committed to protecting your home and community from disruption this winter. Our Winter Mitigation Action Plan sets out how to prepare for adverse weather, along with daily actions we take to keep on top of the risks. During the colder months, we also boost the number of people working across our network, so we can rapidly respond to incidents. We gear them up with extra equipment too – including 4x4s and winter gear – so we’re ready to tackle whatever the winter throws our way.

A little preparation now can help everyone’s celebrations go smoothly this festive season.