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Be winter ready

In winter, it's important to make sure you stay safe and warm in your home. Here are some ways you can prepare in advance to stop problems happening - and some helpful advice if an emergency occurs.

Heating - making sure your system is working well and what to do if your heating fails.

Every year, we carry out servicing to heating and water systems. This way, we can make sure that your system is running efficiently, safely and we can deal with any repairs needed as quickly as possible.

If you are contacted for a service, please make sure that you are available for our engineer to carry out the work.

If your radiator is not heating up correctly or you have cold spots, you may have an air lock. This is easily sorted at home with a radiator key or screwdriver. Here is a video to show you want to do.

You will also need to make sure that the pressure on your boiler is correct, especially if you have had to deal with an air lock. Here is a short video to show you what to do.

If you have no heating or hot water, we may be able to provide you with some temporary heating until we can repair the issue.

When weather is extreme, we may have a high demand for heaters – we will prioritise those who are considered to be vulnerable or in households where there are children under the age of 2.

We will do our best to get heaters delivered as soon as possible. We may ask other members of our team to help with deliveries. Please be patient as we will get to you as soon as possible.

Pipes - how to deal with a frozen or burst pipe

In very cold weather, exposed or external pipes may freeze over or burst. You will first notice that there is a problem when you turn on the tap and there is no water flowing.

Here is a short video to explain what you can do to unfreeze the pipe safely.

If the pipe has burst, water may gush out when it thaws. Make sure that you know where your stop tap is in advance so that you can turn the water off.

Keeping your home warm - handy tips to insulate and keep drafts out

  • Close your curtains - this is the easiest way to provide another layer of insulation to stop heat from escaping.
  • Shut your doors - heat the room you are in and keep the heat from escaping to other spaces you are not using.
  • Block out drafts - If you feel drafts from under doors, use rolled up towels or even old jumpers to keep the cold air out. You will be amazed at the difference this can make. However, do not block up air bricks or vents as these are needed to keep you safe.
  • Reflect the heat - Using cheap kitchen/tin foil behind your radiators. This will reflect the heat to warm the room rather than your walls.

Coping with condensation and dealing with damp -

Condensation happens when warm air meets a cold surface and causes water droplets to appear. This is why during winter, you may see evidence of this with foggy windows or even black mould.

We all know that we should keep our home heated to avoid creating cold surfaces for condensation to appear. However, in this Cost of Living Crisis the temptation may be to keep your heating off to save money. Before you take this decision, please talk to us and we will see what we can do to help.

Here is a video to explain how you can keep your home free from damp and mould.

However, if you suspect that the damp in your home is caused rising damp or as a result of faulty plumbing or guttering, let us know straight away. We will inspect it for you and make arrangements to carry out the necessary work to solve the problem. Damp and Mould

What to do if there is a power cut

When you lose electricity because of a power cut, it can be a worrying time.

Here's some helpful advice about what to do

  • Try to be prepared in advance and make sure that you can find a torch, blankets and batteries for any essential appliances quickly and easily.
  • Protect the food in your fridge and freezer by not opening the doors unless you have to. Food can stay cold and frozen for several hours if the doors are closed.
  • Turn off any electrical appliances (such as cookers, grills, irons, hair straighteners) that could cause a danger if the power comes on and they are not attended. Leave a light on so that you will know when the power returns.
  • Have a supply of food and drink in your cupboards that do not need to be cooked or heated up.
  • Make sure that any medical equipment has a battery back-up.
  • Make sure that your mobile phone is charged.

How to report a power cut?

If you experience a power cut that you weren't expecting, you can report it by calling 105. This will connect you to your distribution network operator (DNO), who owns and maintains the power lines that connect to homes or businesses.

Help with extra fuel costs - grants available and our Wellbeing Fund

The Community Housing Wellbeing Fund is here to give fast and flexible support to our customers during these challenging times.

The Fund can help cover the cost of food, essential items such as cookers and washing machines, energy and utility costs as well as helping to bridge the gap between a benefit application and first payment.

If you are interested in seeing if the Wellbeing fund can help you, visit this page on our website and fill in our online application form.

Warm Spaces - where you can go to keep warm and enjoy the company of friends and neighbours

Wyre Forest District Council publishes a list of all of the Warm Spaces venues across the district on their website Warm welcome spaces.

The places are free, warm and welcoming to everyone. Many of the spaces offer free activities and hot drinks and are a great way to connect with others in your local community.