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Belfast homes are being urged to get prepared and avoid frozen pipes this January

January 2018 - South Side Advertiser

Pictured is the NI Water CEO, Sara Venning and Belfast Lord Mayor, Cllr Nuala McAllister at Belfast City Hall

This was the message from NI Water’s winter campaign, which also introduced NI Water’s new ‘water drop’ character, Flo.

Flo was created to raise awareness of how we need the water to ‘flo’ through our pipes this winter, rather than freeze, burst and cause flooding.

Sara Venning, NI Water’s Chief Executive, said: ‘‘NI Water is delighted to once again launch our winter campaign in partnership with a whole range of organisations, including the Consumer Council, Utility Regulator, Ulster Farmers’ Union and Retail NI – and introduce Flo of course! The combined resources of all of these partners, and many others, enables us to spread our message to all sections of the community.

“Everyone has a role to play in preparing for freezing temperatures and ensuring that the water continues to ‘flo’ freely through our pipes all winter long! Over the coming months, Flo will be giving advice on the steps everyone needs to take to protect their property and possessions from the damage a burst pipe can create.

“The devastation caused by burst pipes cannot be underestimated. Not only can the water cause structural damage to a property, but the lasting damage in a home can be to personal items, including photographs and electrical equipment such as tablets, iPads and laptops, that may not be replaceable.

“On a wider scale, if you imagine the impact of thousands of litres of water pouring out of burst water pipes; any water distribution network would struggle to maintain continuity of supply in those circumstances. Insulating your pipework is an essential action to protect your water supply and that of your neighbours."

The Lord Mayor of Belfast, Cllr Nuala McAllister, said: ‘‘The key message to remember is that frozen pipes can flood homes and cause havoc, often taking months to repair. The Council would encourage home and business owners to ensure that their property is appropriately protected against the threat of burst water pipes. Simple steps taken by property owners now could save considerable stress and expense later in the event of burst pipes.’’

There are lots of simple things that homes and businesses can do to prepare for a cold winter, and there’s no time like the present to get started:

  • Wrap up pipes and water tanks with lagging – high street DIY stores have everything you need.

  • Fix dripping taps – even a small trickle can result in a frozen pipe.

  • Find your property’s stop tap and make sure you can turn it off – most are under the kitchen sink.

  • Leave the heating on low if you go away for a winter break.

  • Check your central heating boiler has been serviced – it should be serviced annually.

  • Keep the name of a plumber handy – type in your postcode at  to find your nearest accredited plumbing business.


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