Heating and lighting: Make sure your heating is working properly. For any gas, heating or hot water breakdowns you can call contact Connect Housing on 0300 5000 600. Make sure all your lights are working, remember it drops dark quickly in winter and poor lighting can increase the risk of accidents. Check that your home is insulated and free from draughts but DO NOT cover air vents.
Spot the potential problem areas: Keep an eye out for any pipework and taps that might be exposed to freezing temperatures. Places where temperatures could drop below 0°C include garages, outside walls, gardens, sheds and lofts.
Protect your pipes and taps: After identifying the pipes and taps most at risk, wrap them in lagging. Cut a piece of foam insulation to length and clip it on. Lagging can be bought from a local DIY store for around £2 a metre. Protect taps and awkward bends with cloths or towels. Special covers are available for any external or exposed taps. Insulate cisterns and water tanks in exposed or unheated places too.
Keep your central heating ticking over: Heating a home is expensive, but so is a burst pipe. If you can, leave the heating on constantly at a low temperature. If you're going away set your heating to come on for at least an hour every day. Ask someone to check your pipes while you're away. You could leave a key with neighbours in case there's an emergency.
Get to grips with your stop tap: If the worst happens - your pipes freeze and then burst - shutting off the stop tap is the first thing you'll need to do. In most homes you'll find the stop tap under the kitchen sink, but it could be located in a cellar, garage or outbuilding. Label your stop tap once you've found it and check it works regularly. Make sure the tap turns freely and shuts off fully.
Dealing with frozen pipes: If your water pipes have frozen and you're without water follow the simple guidance provided by Yorkshire Water.
- Turn off your stop tap. You can find your stop at the point where it enters your home, in many homes this will be under the kitchen sink.
- Feel the pipework around your stop tap to see if it's extremely cold. If it is...
- Try heating the pipe with a fan heater or hair dryer. Don't use a naked flame.
- Turn your stop tap back on.
- Insulate your pipes with waterproof foam lagging, available from most DIY outlets or plumbing merchants.
If you have an emergency repair please call us on 0300 5000 600