Make sure you’re ready for winter – and don’t cut corners on safety to save on energy bills

winter ready graphic

As the nights get colder and dark for longer, the chances of severe weather increase.

Storms, floods and other extreme conditions can cause damage to network infrastructure and disrupt your energy supply.

That’s why Hereford & Worcester Fire and Rescue Service is reminding the public to be well prepared for power cuts and gas emergencies that may result from bad winter weather.

This includes not cutting corners by using poor quality heating appliances to bring down energy bills during the current high cost of living situation.

In recent years the chances of unplanned problems with electricity and gas supply have reduced dramatically, and network companies have invested £billions in improving the reliability of local energy networks in the UK.

As a result, on average, electricity and gas distribution customers hardly ever suffer a power cut or interrupted gas supply these days.

Despite this, however, our gas and electricity networks can be affected by natural events, with severe winter weather potentially causing significant damage.

So be Winter Ready for the 2022/3 winter.

Make sure you’re prepared in case you have a power cut or gas emergency.

To be ready for anything:

  • know your free emergency numbers – in a power cut dial 105 or, for a gas emergency, dial 0800 111 999
  • prepare your home – keep a torch handy and get your appliances serviced by a Gas Safe registered engineer to prevent carbon monoxide poisoning
  • find out about the Priority Services Register – a free service provided by suppliers and network operators to vulnerable households which can give advance notice of planned power cuts or priority support in an emergency, eg with cooking and heating facilities. (Each energy supplier and network operator maintains its own register – to get on it, contact your energy supplier or visit to find out who your network operator is.
  • don’t overload electric sockets. Ensure only one plug per socket. Always turn off plugs when they are not in use, except those that are designed to be left on, like freezers
  • keep a regular check on the weather forecast and weather warnings at

Emma Roberts, HWFRS Head of Prevention, said:

“The danger of fire is also at its greatest during autumn and winter – so we’re asking people to remember these simple safety tips as winter weather bites:

  • watch out for overloaded plug sockets – many people use four-way bar adaptors to allow them to plug in more appliances, particularly in older properties that have fewer sockets.
  • make sure that any portable heaters are being used safely – they should not be used to dry or heat clothes and should not be left switched on and unattended.
  • check that electric blankets are in good condition – and that manufacturers’ instructions are followed.
  • position your candles carefully – make sure they are on a stable surface, out of the reach of pets and children, and away from flammable objects like curtains, furniture, bedding, books and newspapers, especially while the Christmas decorations are up.
  • fit smoke alarms and test them regularly – working smoke alarms can buy you valuable time to Get out, Stay out and Call 999
  • make sure that everyone in your home knows what to do if there is a fire – practise and memorise your escape route.
  • find out more – there is a wealth of safety advice and guidance at to help people stay safe whatever the season

Emma added:

“It’s vital that people don’t cut corners on safety to bring down their energy bills during the current cost of living situation.

“We’re urging people not to turn to alternative ways of heating and lighting their homes, with the increased dangers of fires and other incidents.

“People can complete a FREE
online home fire safety check for themselves or loved ones – find it at We may also be able to visit your home to provide help and advice.

“A wealth of safety guidance is available on our website at and , including smoke alarm checks, heating appliance safety and safe boiler servicing.

You can also contact our Prevention Team on 0800 032 1155 to see if you qualify for a free Home Fire Safety visit.