With the cold weather upon us in the UK, Cat Calder, AFF’s Housing Specialist has some pointers on staying safe and warm in your property during the colder months…

• Make sure that your boiler and radiators are working. Radiators may need to be bled and you can do this yourself quickly and easily. If you still have issues, call the Amey helpdesk on 0800 707 6000

Do you know where your stopcock is in case of a flood? If you don’t, call Amey and ask for your accommodation officer to come out to show you

• Turn off outside taps and insulate to prevent them freezing – some bubble wrap secured round it will help

If you go away, make sure you leave the heating on low with the internal doors open to help prevent pipes freezing – don’t forget to ensure that you have liability insurance to the amount of £20,000.

• Last year in the very cold weather there were problems with external boiler pipes freezing. If this happens, the boiler will show a fault code which can be found in the manufacturer’s instruction booklet (available online). Amey and DIO’s advice is to pour lukewarm over the external pipe. It typically freezes over the last 300mm of the external pipe before it enters the ground, so target where you pour it

Mould is always more prevalent in the colder months. To help prevent it, ensure that your house is heated to a constant 16 degrees minimum and air the house every morning for a few minutes to get rid of stale, damp air – especially in bedrooms and bathrooms

• If you experience mould which you can’t keep on top of with normal cleaning, report it and add your address to the AFF mould database via the AFF website.

If you have any issues or concerns, email housing@aff.org.uk or, for more information about managing your SFA in cold weather, visit ameydefenceservices.co.uk/housing

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