Top tips come rain, hail or snow

by The Gateshead Housing Company & filed under Help in your home - be winter ready, Help in your home - repairs to your home, News.

If you think you can smell gas

  1. Ring the National Grid immediately on 0800 111 999 (Minicom/Textphone 0800 37 17 87).
  2. Turn off the gas supply at the meter.
  3. Open all windows and doors.
  4. Call HomeRepairs on 0800 408 6008.

IMPORTANT: don’t smoke, use naked flames, or turn electric switches and appliances on or off.

If your heating is not working, ask  yourself:

  1. Is the electricity supply on?
  2. Is the timer set properly?
  3. Is the thermostat turned up high enough?
  4. If your system is still not working, then call HomeRepairs on 0800 408 6008.

If you have no hot water

  1. Check to see if the heating system is still working.
  2. Call HomeRepairs on 0800 408 6008.

If you have a burst pipe

  1. Turn off water at the stoptap (usually in the kitchen or bathroom).
  2. Turn all cold taps on to drain the system.
  3. If water is going into or near electrical equipment, then turn the electricity off at the consumer unit (the fuse box).
  4. Put a bucket under the leak, wrap a cloth around the pipe, and fasten with tape.
  5. Call HomeRepairs on 0800 408 6008.

If your electricity goes off

  1. Check your consumer unit (the fuse box).
  2. If any switches have tripped to the ‘off’ position, put them back to ‘on’.
  3. If the switch will not reset, you may have a faulty appliance or wiring to check.
  4. Call HomeRepairs on 0800 408 6008.
  5. While the supply is off, switch off any electric fires or heaters, and avoid opening freezer doors.
  6. If all house and external street lights are off call Northern Powergrid on 0800 66 88 77 (textphone 0800 028 9507).
  7. Under normal weather conditions, supplies are usually restored within three hours.
  8. If smoke or sparks are coming from sockets or switches, then turn off the electricity at the consumer unit, and report it to HomeRepairs on 0800 408 6008.

Top tips

  • Check the batteries on smoke alarms regularly
  • Know where your stoptap is and test it  frequently
  • Keep a torch handy
  • Keep a spare phone that doesn’t need to be plugged in to  an electrical socket – newer phones may not work if your electricity is off
  • Use a battery-powered radio to listen to local stations, such as BBC Newcastle, for news about the weather and  emergencies
  • Do you have a microwave? They’re great for warming meals if your boiler isn’t working
  • Keep the heat in your home this winter by hanging heavy lined curtains, closing them as soon as it starts to get dark
  • Going away this winter? Set your heating to come on for at least one hour to keep your boiler functioning
  • If you have a loft, leave its access open in extremely cold weather to help prevent freezing pipes
  • Avoid blockages by letting cooking fat solidify and throw in the bin rather than pouring down the sink
  • Make sure you have your annual gas service carried out. It’s free and it could save your life!

More winter news, tips and advice is available in our ‘Be winter ready with The Gateshead Housing Company’ guide.