Campaign launched to keep Scotland’s homes safe in winter

Monday November 20th 2023

Scottish Water - Winter


Written by Midlothian View Reporter, Luke Jackson

Scottish Water is calling on the public to get their homes prepared for winter to avoid burst pipes and irreparable damage during Scotland’s coldest months.

With the Met Office reporting temperatures as low as -10C in Midlothian last winter, Scottish Water has launched its ‘Be Winter Wise’ campaign sharing simple steps to save water, save money and protect homes.

In 2022 the public body reported a surge in burst pipes due to rapid thaw, resulting in millions of pounds worth of damage and an additional 250 million litres of water a day pumped into the network.

Brian Lironi, Director of Corporate Affairs at Scottish Water, said: “If last winter is anything to go by, homeowners, landlords and businesses around the country need to take early action to protect their properties and their pockets this year.

“Something as simple as insulating pipes can have a positive impact on safeguarding homes and workplaces. And reducing the amount of hot water you use, like taking two minutes off your shower, can also help save money too.

“We’re hoping the launch of our six crucial tips and tricks will put Scotland’s properties in a better place as the days get considerably colder.”

Now, Scottish Water has shared its top tips to help the public prepare for sub-zero temperatures and to prevent problems such as burst pipes, flooding and water leakages – and the inconvenience and expense that come with them.

Scottish Water’s six top tips for winter safety are:

1. Protect your pipes

When temperatures fall below zero, water in pipes expands as it freezes. It then contracts as the temperature rises, which can cause pipes to crack or burst. Insulating pipes and water tanks is one of the simplest and cheapest things that can be done to help protect properties from the cold.

2. Locate your stop valve

If pipes do freeze or burst, you must find and turn off your stop valve immediately. It is often under a sink or near the hot water system. If in doubt, check with a local, licensed plumber.

3. Warm yourself, not the room
Stay cosy with hot water bottles and drinks, but only boil what you need – a full mug boils faster than a full kettle.

4. Save on energy bills
Shorter showers can reduce energy bills and save water, which is a win for you and our planet. Try taking just two minutes off your shower and save up to £130 off your annual energy bill*.

5. Avoid blocks and floods

Stovies, soups and stews are great winter warmers for this time of year. But don’t pour fats, oils or grease down the sink – when they cool, they congeal and cause blockages in your pipes, which could lead to flooding. Why not make your own ‘gunk pot’ – www.yourwateryourlife.co.uk/homemade-gunk-pots/

6. Save water and money

Using a dishwasher or washing machine on its eco setting can save you money on energy and save water – which is good for the planet. Washing full loads make sense too, getting your money’s worth out of each cycle.

Brian Lironi said: “Winter can be an expensive time of year, so it makes sense to save on your energy bills by using less water. Water is always worth saving at any time of year and making small lifestyle or business changes can do just that.

“We want everyone to be as prepared as possible to minimise winter’s impact. We want to work with our customers – whether they’re householders or businesses – to ensure we are all ready for cold weather.”

Visit www.scottishwater.co.uk/winter for further advice, information and films.

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