North Antrim householders urged to prepare for freeze

The Housing Executive is urging householders in north Antrim to take simple steps to avoid burst pipes and “Don’t freeze up this winter”.

During spells of severely cold weather the water pipes in your home may freeze, which can result in a burst pipe when the weather warms up.

In the event of an emergency repair being required, Housing Executive tenants can telephone the Housing Executive’s 24 hour repair line 03448920901.

In addition urgent or routine repairs can be reported through the website www.nihe.gov.uk or email the out of hours emergency services on emergency.services@nihe.gov.uk

The following advice will help all householders prepare for and deal with severe weather conditions. Further information is available on the Housing Executive’s website www.nihe.gov.uk

* Help prevent your pipes from freezing - Set the central heating to come on for short periods throughout the day. If you feel you are able to, lift the trap door slightly from the roof space to allow warm air to get into the loft. This should only be done as a temporary measure and should be replaced as soon as possible.

Open the doors to the sink unit to allow warmer air to circulate round the pipes.

If you are away, ask someone to turn the heating on for a short time and check for frozen pipes.

* Dealing with frozen pipes - Turn the water supply off at the stopcock.

Protect everything around the pipe that appears to be frozen to avoid damage if it bursts.

Open the tap nearest to the part of the pipe you think is frozen so the water can flow through when it has melted.

Thaw the ice in the pipe with a hot water bottle or hairdryer (taking care to keep it well away from any water), beginning from the tap end and working back towards the cold water tank. Never use a heat gun or blow torch.