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Letter to the Editor: staying safe during the cold weather

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Dear Editor,

Our priority is to keep our customers across Wales and south west England safe and warm all year round, whatever the weather.

And, whilst the gas network in the UK is reliable and resilient, even in the worst weather, we want to share some tips and advice to help you stay safe and warm.

  • Save the National Gas Emergency Number 0800 111 999 in your phone and call it immediately if you smell gas or suspect the presence of carbon monoxide.
  • Keep an eye on the weather forecast and watch out for any weather warnings.
  • If cold weather comes, follow NHS advice to wear layers to keep warm and regularly have hot drinks. Try to check on your neighbours, especially if they could be particularly vulnerable in cold weather. 
  • If your boiler has stopped working in the cold, the chances are you have a frozen boiler condensate pipe. To fix this, hold a hot water bottle or heat wrap around the affected pipe. Alternatively, pour hot, but not boiling, water over the frozen end of the pipe.
  • Have your boiler and gas appliances regularly serviced and safety checked by a Gas Safe registered engineer. You can find and check an engineer at GasSafeRegister.co.uk or call 0800 408 5500. If you rent your home, ask for a copy of the landlord’s current Gas Safety Record.
  • Find out about the Priority Services Register. By signing up you will get access to free additional services if there is a power cut or in the unlikely event of an interruption to your gas supply. You can find out more and sign up at wwutilities.co.uk/priority or by calling 0800 9122999.
  • Check gas appliances for warning signs that they are not working properly e.g. lazy yellow flames instead of crisp blue ones, black marks or stains on or around the appliance and condensation in the room.
  • Fit an audible carbon monoxide alarm. This will alert you if there is carbon monoxide in your home.
  • Know the six signs of carbon monoxide poisoning – headaches, dizziness, breathlessness, nausea, collapse and loss of consciousness.
  • Check out the Energy Networks Association (ENA) campaign #PrepareCareCall which gives information on how to stay safe during the winter months. The ENA represents all companies which operate the electricity wires, gas pipes and energy system in the UK and Ireland, and this webpage contains helpful information energynetworks.org/be-winter-ready.

We work all year round to do everything we can to keep the gas flowing so you are safe and warm at home. Please help us to protect and look after those people who need it the most.

Yours sincerely,

Clive Book, Head of Operations

Wales & West Utilities

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