Protect your pipes - be prepared!

NOW that the first flurries of snow have fallen across Scotland, Scottish Water is reminding customers to ensure that their homes and businesses are protected and prepared for the winter.

Communities throughout the country are being urged to follow Scottish Water’s winter code - a set of simple steps to protect your pipes, be prepared and heat, insulate and protect your home and business.

The ‘Protect your pipes - Be prepared’ message is being promoted through three Highway Code-style signs which highlight the need to take measures to ensure peace of mind ahead of extreme cold weather conditions.

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

The campaign is being spread through a range of measures including advertising, leaflets, videos, social media channels and partnerships with a range of bodies, such as landlord and housing associations and plumbers’ federation SNIPEF.

Scottish Water is also implementing various initiatives to ensure it is well equipped to continue to deliver the best service it can in the event of another severe winter.

Last year’s unprecedented winter - which included the coldest December on record - saw Scottish Water having to repair around 2,000 bursts and answering more than 40,000 calls between Christmas Eve and New Year, when 7,500 calls would normally be expected.

However, Scottish Water maintained supply to well over 99 per cent of its 2.4 million household customers.

Peter Farrer, Scottish Water’s customer service delivery director, said: “Customers who take action now to heat, insulate and protect their properties can avoid considerable headache and heartache. 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 last winter. Unfortunately, many customers found out last year that the real problems start when temperatures begin to rise again after such a cold snap. This can lead to pipes expanding and bursting.

“So, while there’s no telling whether the extreme conditions could be repeated again this year, it is sensible for customers to start thinking about protecting their pipes now and make sure they are prepared.”