This year in particular has probably been a more challenging year than usual for most of us. Having to adapt quickly to find ways to deal with the ‘new normal’. From financial to practical, winter is a time that can also bring a new set of challenges; things we may not think about at other times in the year. With this in mind our Policy Manager Janine guides us through some quick wins – simple steps we can all take to keep ourselves, our families and homes protected this winter.
Ask for help
This time of year can bring additional financial pressures for many of us, and with the added implications of Covid-19 having an impact, this year may be particularly tough. If you’re struggling to pay your bill, ask your water company for support through schemes like payment breaks or social tariffs. Our recent Water Matters (pdf) research has revealed that a third of customers have little awareness of the support services available from their water company. If you are in need of extra support, don’t miss out – speak to your water company.
Beat bogus callers
If in doubt, keep them out. Bogus callers and scammers can increase during the winter months due to many of us spending more time at home because of the colder, darker evenings – this will certainly be true this year. Over recent months, doorstep crime has increased due to criminals targeting people being at home, but thankfully, there are simple steps you can take to keep safe.
Give bogus callers the cold shoulder by asking your water company – and other utility companies too about signing up to a doorstep password protection scheme. This ensures that anyone from the company, that visits your home, should be able to give you a pre-arranged password as additional proof of identity; giving you extra peace of mind. Remember that companies will rarely turn up without a pre-arranged appointment, so if in doubt, close the door and contact the company using a number off a bill or website; they won’t mind waiting if they are legitimate.
Regardless of the time of year, we have lots of advice to help keep you safe and aware of potential scams.
I don’t know about you, but getting the winter wardrobe out is something I look forward to – comfy coat and snuggly socks are the best! But did you know your home needs a winter wardrobe too? During the winter, pipes are at increased risk of bursting due to the cold weather, so make sure any pipes that are exposed are insulated – your local DIY store can advise you how to do this. Visit our winter advice page for more top tips.
Don’t cause a kitchen nightmare
Okay so it’s probably way too early to start thinking about the Christmas dinner, (although now I am!), however, we thought we should give you an early heads up about FOGs – Fats, Oils and Grease and their potential to be a recipe for disaster. Did you know that water companies spend in excess of £100 million clearing up blockages as a result of things being put down the drain that shouldn’t be – with cooking oils one of the biggest culprits. Make sure your Christmas dinner (or any dinner) is one to remember for the right reasons. Scrape any leftover fat into a container and allow it to cool before scraping it into the bin.
Head to our winter advice page for more simple ways to make sure you’re winter ready.