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Keep Safe During Snowy Weather

Winter weather

Unusually cold and snowy weather is on the way. It may not seem a big deal but in central Scotland we don't see this kind of weather very often, so it's easy to forget how it can affect our home, and that we may need to take extra steps to protect it and those inside. We've put together some key tips to help prepare your home and keep you safe.

Find your water stop valve

The stop valve (sometimes called your stopcock) controls the water coming into your home. If any of your pipes freeze and burst, you’ll need to use this to shut off the water and prevent further damage. It's usually found under the kitchen sink or sometimes under the stairs. Make sure everyone in your household knows where it is and how to use it. If you don't know where it is, get in touch with Property Services at Melville Housing and they'll let you know.

Leave the heating ticking over while you’re away

If you’re leaving the house for more than a couple of days, leave your heating on a low setting, so warm water (that won’t freeze), is left flowing through the pipes. Pipes in the loft are most at risk so make sure they’re properly insulated. It might also be worth leaving the entrance to the loft open so warm air can circulate.

Bleed your radiators

If a radiator is cooler at the top compared with the bottom, then it’s likely you need to bleed it to remove any air pockets. This will vastly improve the radiator’s efficiency.

Keep an eye on vulnerable neighbours

Be aware of any neighbours that could be struggling to get out and about in the cold weather. Popping round to check they have all they need and are keeping warm is likely to be appreciated. Even just popping in for a chat is a good idea, as some people can feel quite isolated if they can’t leave their home.

Use salt or sand to clear icy paths

Using warm water to melt snow might refreeze and turn to black ice. Instead, use salt or sand (ordinary table salt or dishwasher salt works fine too). You should use around a tablespoon for each square metre.

Make sure you have essential items

While no one wants to be ‘that person’ panic buying milk and bread, it’s sensible to keep your home stocked with some essentials in case you get stuck indoors. If you’re on repeat prescription medication it’s important to check you have enough to last as deliveries can be affected by bad weather.

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