Good advice from Scottish Water

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As PROPERTY owners prepare to close up their cottages, cabins and remote but ’n’ bens, Scottish Water is teaming up with VisitScotland to provide some important winter advice.

The organisations are urging holiday home owners to follow the winter code – the simple steps to protect pipes, and your property, for the months ahead.

Protect your pipes – Be prepared is Scottish Water’s winter message to customers across Scotland, whether in their family home or weekend retreat. Following this important advice can help to ensure peace of mind ahead of extreme weather conditions.

The campaign encourages people to protect their pipes and advises them on how to prevent the headache of burst or frozen pipes, where to find their stop valve and what to do in an emergency.

Scottish Water’s message is being spread through a range of measures including e-mail newsletters such as those issued by VisitScotland, leaflets, videos, social media channels, advertising and partnerships with a range of organisations.

Colin Houston, VisitScotland Quality Assurance manager said: “It’s important to ensure that properties are prepared for the winter so they are ready for visitors during the winter months or primed and ready for re-opening in the spring.

“Ensuring all visitors have a quality experience is imperative to the ongoing success of the tourism industry, it is therefore important all property owners do what they can to not only meet expectations but exceed them.”

The threat to holiday homes which are often left unoccupied during the winter is very real. Often burst domestic pipes aren’t noticed until neighbours start to lose their water supply, or damage is caused.

Peter Farrer, Scottish Water’s Customer Service Delivery Director said: “There’s no telling whether the prolonged freezing temperatures of a couple of years ago will be repeated, or whether winter will be mild and stormy like last year. We’re urging all customers to protect their pipes now and make sure their property is prepared.

“Our winter campaign aims to inform customers, all homeowners and businesses about the importance of acting now to protect their pipes and avoid the hardships that so many have experienced in recent winters. Very often people don’t think it will happen to them but there are few things more frustrating than finding your property ankle deep in freezing water and your carpet, furniture and electrical equipment ruined because of a burst pipe which ultimately could have been prevented. We want all our customers to be prepared.”

Holiday home owners are being advised to follow Scottish Water’s winter code:

Locate your stop valve

If your property is going to be vacant over the winter months, turn off your water supply and drain the system. A licensed plumber should be able to advise about this.

If you are going to be away then make sure you have someone who can regularly check for problems.

Keep a note of the contact details of a licensed plumber.

Keep a note of he Scottish Water Customer Helpline number – 0845 601 8855

Keep your insurance documents secure and water-tight

Where appropriate heat, insulate and protect your pipes

Leave the heating on a low setting

Be a good neighbour and keep an eye on any vacant properties.

Peter Farrer concluded: “Over the last few years our frontline teams have responded to potential supply problems in rural communities, discovering bursts inside unoccupied holiday homes or community facilities. The support of the tourism sector is essential in protecting our wider community.”

Visit www.scottishwater.co.uk/winter where you can find winter information, films and advice.

Follow them on twitter twitter.com/scottish_water and facebook www.facebook.com/scottishwater