What to do when Storm Denis hits

According to the Met Office, Storm Denis will bring a month of rain in 24 hours. Parts of Britain will get more than 100mm of rainfall in a single day, bringing a new risk of flooding and high winds.

The Met Office has issued amber warnings for rain, starting at 3pm on Saturday 15 February and lasting for 24 hours. There are also less serious yellow warnings for both wind and rain.

The whole country apart from Northern Ireland and northern Scotland will be hit on Saturday, while every part of the UK will be affected on Sunday.

You can keep an eye on Storm Denis on the Met Office website. There is also some advice on what to do if you are caught in a flood on Gov.UK. 

We hope everyone stays as safe and dry as possible, but, just in case you need an emergency repair, here's what you need to know.  

What is an Emergency?

An emergency repair is something which threatens your health, security or safety, or could cause major damage to your home. In the case of heating and hot water, it is generally breakdowns in extreme cold weather (usually between 31 October and 1 May), or at any time of the year for elderly or vulnerable residents. 

In the case of flooding, damage can vary from just your possessions to the actual structure of your home, depending on how severe it is. 

If we agree your repair is an emergency, we will ask you to stay home until one of our contractors comes to fix it. This will be within four hours. The contractor will make the emergency safe and fix it if possible there and then, but a return appointment may be needed to solve the problem. If we do not feel the repair is an emergency, we will make an appointment to have the repair carried out as a ‘non-emergency’ within our guidelines. We will explain what these are. You can also find out more about emergency and non-emergency repairs on pages 10 - 12 of our repairs handbook.

When you contact us to report your repair, please tell us your name, address and contact details. You also need to let us know when you will be at home, and if there is anything we need to know about how we access your home, for example, if you may not hear our contractor knocking, or it may take you a little longer to answer the door.

Heating and/or hot water

If you think you have a heating or hot water emergency, contact us on 0345 678 0555.

If you have no heating and hot water, check the pressure gauge on your boiler, (and that you have credit on your meter). If you know, or have instructions on how to increase the pressure on your boiler, follow them. Your boiler should restore itself to normal without the need to contact us. 

Burst Pipes

If you have a burst pipe, turn off the mains water supply immediately by turning the stopcock clockwise. (Make sure you know where your stopcock is). This will stop any more water getting into the water pipes. If the burst pipe is on the main water system the rush of water will eventually stop. If it doesn’t, the problem may be on your cold water storage system, and you will need to drain down your cold water storage tank which will usually be in your roof-space. This video from Northern Ireland Water shows you just what to do.

What can I do to help stop any problems?

You might be surprised what you can do. If you don’t have any problems, but you are worried you might, there are lots of ways you can help to prevent them. There is information on what to do in a flood on the Gov.UK website. You can also find out where flood warnings are and what the different warnings mean and if the area you live in is at risk.

You can find out more about our repairs service in our repairs handbook. It includes emergency advice, (in the case of gas and electrical problems) and, on pages 16 - 22, explains which repairs are our responsibility, and which are yours.

Don't forget, you don't have to ring through for repairs that aren't emergencies, you can report these online.

We hope you stay safe, warm and dry in your homes while Storm Dennis brings its own chaos, but if an emergency happens, our out of hours team are standing by.

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