Protect your pipes and be prepared for winter

Scottish Water is encouraging customers to ensure homes and businesses across Scotland are protected and prepared for winter.

Launching its new campaign today, the utility is urging communities throughout the country to follow its winter advice - protect your pipes, be prepared and heat, insulate and protect your home and business.

Protect your pipes - Be prepared, is Scottish Water’s winter message. Three Highway Code-style signs will highlight the need to take measures, ensuring peace of mind ahead of extreme weather conditions.

Scottish Water’s campaign will encourage customers to protect their pipes and property. It will advise them how to help prevent a frozen or burst pipe, how to locate their stop valve, what to do in an emergency and how Scottish Water can help.

For the fourth year running, STV weather forecaster, Sean Batty is supporting Scottish Water’s winter campaign. Sean said:

“Last year many Scots were preparing for another cold winter after the extreme conditions of the previous two, however, in the end it turned out to be a much milder but stormy one. This highlights just how volatile our weather can be and how we need to be prepared in advance for whatever it throws in our direction and to ensure that we heat, insulate and protect our homes and businesses against the ever-changing elements.”

The campaign will be communicated through a range of channels including our winter leaflet and poster, videos, social media channels, advertising and partnerships with a range of organisations, such as the Scottish Government, landlord and housing associations and plumbers’ federation SNIPEF.

Scottish Water is also ensuring that we are well equipped and can continue to deliver the best service to our customers in whatever weather the winter months may bring.

Last year again saw an unprecedented winter, with the snow and freezing temperatures of 2009 and 2010 replaced by high winds and heavy rainfall.

However, Scottish Water employees worked around the clock, to maintain drinking water supply to 2.4 million household customers and protect the natural environment.

Peter Farrer, Scottish Water’s Customer Service Delivery Director, said: “While there’s no telling whether the extreme conditions of the last few years could be repeated again, it is sensible for customers to start thinking about protecting their pipes now and make sure they are prepared.

“Our winter campaign aims to inform our customers, homeowners and businesses about the importance of acting now to protect their pipes to avoid the hardships that so many experienced in recent winters. Unfortunately, many customers found out that the real problems start when temperatures begin to rise again after such a cold snap. This can lead to pipes expanding and bursting.

“Very often people think it won’t happen to them, but there are few things more frustrating than coming home or into work to find everything ankle deep in freezing water and your carpets, furniture and equipment all ruined because of a burst pipe.

“Customers who take action now to heat, insulate and protect their properties can avoid this considerable headache and heartache. The message is very much that we want to work with our customers to ensure we are all prepared.”

Customers are being advised to follow Scottish Water’s winter code:

Heat, insulate and protect your pipes.

Leave your heating on at a low setting.

If you are going away then make sure you have someone who can regularly check for any problems.

If your property is going to be vacant over the winter months, turn off your water supply and drain the system. A licensed plumber should be able to advise you about this.

Keep your insurance documents somewhere secure and water-tight so you can access them easily if needed.

Locate your stop valve.

Keep a note of the telephone number of a licensed plumber.

Keep a note of the Scottish Water Customer Helpline number – 0845 601 8855.

Be a good neighbour and keep an eye out for your neighbours, especially the frail and elderly or disabled.

While homeowners represent the biggest target audience, the campaign also focuses on the need for businesses, landlords and holiday home owners to safeguard their properties.