Get prepared for winter

You can find lots of useful tips and information on this page to help you stay safe this winter.

Top tips for keeping you and your home safe

  • Make sure you know how your thermostat and radiator valves work. Set your heating to come on earlier, rather than just turning up your thermostat to warm your house quickly, and set your radiator valves higher in rooms where you spend the most time
  • Make sure you have sufficient credit on your gas and electric meter
  • Keep your windows and curtains closed at dusk to keep out draughts
  • If you’re going away during winter, set the thermostat to 5°C to help prevent frozen pipes
  • Know where your stop cock is and how to turn your water off if your pipes freeze to prevent them from bursting
  • If you have any external lights, check to make sure they’re working.
  • Report any blocked or broken gutters.
  • Make sure all your ventilation is working, such as kitchen and bathroom fans.
  • Secure any garden items that may cause issues in high winds e.g. furniture or children’s toys.

Watch our self-help videos on common problems such as checking for faults with your electric meter or your boiler. These are available to watch on our self-help videos page. 


Winter is our busiest time of year for repairs. To avoid delays, make sure that any repairs are requested straight away and to get your home winter ready.

You can report non-urgent repairs quickly and easily online through My Thirteen or call us on 0300 111 1000.

Preventing damp, mould and condensation

Condensation and mould are unpleasant and unhealthy, but there are lots of things you can do to help prevent them creeping into your home.

Read tips on preventing damp, mould and condensation

You can report damp or mould by completing this form

You can also:

Help with your heating costs

Many of us worry about rising fuel costs, so it’s important to make sure you’re not missing out on any benefits or discounts you’re entitled to that will help you keep your home warm.

You may be able to claim financial and practical help with heating your home. Grants available include the Winter Fuel Payment and the Cold Weather Payment.

You could also receive a discount off your electricity bill for winter under the Warm Home Discount Scheme.

Be prepared for a power cut

Often during severe weather, we can experience a power cut or damage outside, so it’s always best to be as prepared as possible.

  • You can keep a check on updates about power cuts in your area.
  • Have at least one torch nearby and some spare batteries. We always recommend using a torch rather than candles to reduce any risk of an accidental fire.
  • Sign up for free flood alerts.
  • Keep your phone charged and store emergency contact numbers.

Stay safe

Nothing is more important than staying and feeling safe in your home. Now that the cold weather drawing in, more of us will be spending more time at home which means that there’s a greater risk of accidents occurring around the home.

There are lots of ways that you can help you and your family to stay safe.

  • Electrical fakes - Don’t take the risk. Fake electrical products often contain faulty parts that can overheat and catch fire or give a fatal electric shock. If a bargain seems too good to be true, it probably is. Always check the label, make sure electrical appliances have a British safety mark when you buy them.
  • Candle safety - A few candles scattered around the room can add a lovely warm glow to your home, but if they are left unattended an open flame could leave a trail of devastation. To prevent candle fires from starting in your home, you should make sure they are kept away from flammable materials like curtains. Always place lit candles away from pets and children and remember to put them out when you leave the room.
  • Socket overload - When you’re getting out the fairy lights and decorations, don’t overload plug sockets. An extension lead or adaptor will have a limit to how many amps it can take so, to help reduce the risk of fire, be careful not to overload them.