There are many ways you can prevent cold weather from causing damage to your home and belongings. Keep your house warm

Keep your heating on during cold weather to avoid burst pipes and damage to your home. If you have thermostatic radiator valves (TRV's) with an anti-frost setting make sure they are used.

Open the hatch to the loft space to provide additional protection to your water tank and pipes if they are located up there. Make sure your heating is serviced annually.


Going on holiday

If you are going away this winter you should keep your central heating on at a low level and leave the loft hatch open to allow warm air to circulate in the loft space. You should also turn off your water supply and drain your heating system.

If you are a council tenant and you require assistance draining your heating system or turning off your water supply you should contact your local Neighbourhood Office or One Stop Shop. Ten days advance notice is required and you must also advise us when you will be returning so that we can make arrangements to refill your systems. Remember you must not light your central heating boiler or switch on your immersion heater before your system is refilled.

If low temperatures are expected while you are away, pour some salt into the toilet pan and other waste pipes to stop the water freezing.

Remember to make arrangements for emergency access to your home before you leave. Ask someone to check your house regularly while you are gone.


If your water supply becomes frozen

If water will not flow from a tap or a cistern will not fill in cold weather ice may have formed in one of your supply pipes. The ice cannot be in a pipe supplying those taps or valves which are working normally, so you should be able to trace the blockage fairly quickly.

If your water supply becomes frozen you should:

  • Turn off the water supply at the main stopcock
  • Turn on all cold taps to drain the system
  • Flush the toilet
  • Do not turn on hot water taps as the hot water cylinder may collapse if the pipes feeding it are frozen
  • Switch off the central heating and immersion heater and let any solid fuel fires die down
  • Collect water in the bath for washing and flushing the toilet

If you are unsure how to contain a burst pipe do not attempt to defrost pipes yourself.

If you get a burst pipe you should:

  • Turn off the water supply at the main stopcock
  • Switch off any water heaters
  • Turn on all cold taps to drain the system
  • Switch off the central heating and immersion heater and let any solid fuel fires die down
  • Collect water in the bath for washing and flushing the toilet
  • Warn neighbours who may suffer damage

Keep your house warm or at least the room you use the most to 21C. Eat at least one hot meal each day and have plenty of hot drinks. Wear several layers of thin clothing rather than one thick layer.


Home energy advice

You can get advice on: heating your home, effective operation of heating systems, payment of bills and where to get help and further advice with heating costs from your local One Stop Shop/Advice and Support Hub.

The Energy Saving Trust provides a free Energy Assistance Package. It can help tackle fuel poverty by maximising incomes, reducing fuel bills and improving the energy efficiency of homes. There are different levels of free advice and support depending on your circumstances. For more information call the Home Energy Scotland Hotline free

0800 8082282