Are you ready for winter?
As the nights get colder and darker, 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 the UK’s gas and electricity network companies have come together to run the Be Winter Ready campaign. The campaign aims to help the public to better prepare for power cuts and gas emergencies that may result from bad winter weather.
In recent years the chances of unplanned problems with electricity and gas supply have reduced dramatically. Since 1990, network companies have invested £100bn in improving the reliability of local energy networks in the UK. As a result, on average, electricity customers have a power cut just once every two years and gas distribution customers will have their gas supply interrupted without advance notice just once every 36 years.
Despite this, our gas and electricity networks can be affected by natural events, with severe winter weather potentially causing significant damage. The gas and electricity network operators are urging people to Be Winter Ready. Make sure you’re prepared in case you have a power cut or gas emergency.
To be Winter Ready, you should:
- know your free emergency numbers - in a power cut dial 105 or, for a gas emergency, dial 0800 111999
- prepare your home – keep a torch handy and get your appliances serviced by a Gas Safe registered engineer to prevent carbon monoxide poisoning. Vulnerable households can get extra support by signing up to the Priority Services Register. Contact your gas or electricity network to find out more. Visit www.energynetworks.org to find out who your network operator is.
“The danger of fire is also at its height during autumn and winter so we’re asking people to remember these simple safety tips as the bad weather approaches,” said Group Commander Mick Cadman of the Hereford & Worcester Fire and Rescue Service Community Risk department.
- watch out for overloaded plug sockets – many people use four-way bar adaptors to allow them to plug more appliances in, particularly in older properties that do not have as many 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
- place 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 and books
- fit a smoke alarm and test it regularly. A working smoke alarm 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 a fire should occur – practise your escape route