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Preparing your home for winter

For most people, when the clocks go back it signals the start of winter. For some, especially if you are older or have older relatives, it can be a more difficult time when you may need a bit of extra help or support.

There are lots of things you can do to keep healthy and well in winter including making sure you prepare your home for the winter months.

Prepare your home

Having your boiler and gas appliances serviced annually is the best way to help spot any small issues before they become bigger problems. Please do not attempt to service appliances yourself as this puts yourself, your family and neighbours at risk.

Get your gas boiler and appliances serviced by a Gas Safe Registered Engineer. You can find one at or call 0800 408 5500 (always check the engineer’s Gas Safe Register ID card).

Make sure your external pipework is in good condition to protect the pipes from freezing. A frozen boiler condensate pipe can stop your boiler working.

Be carbon monoxide aware

Carbon monoxide (CO) is a poisonous gas that can pose a serious threat to health. It is known as the ‘silent killer’ because you can’t see, hear, smell, taste or touch it, making it difficult to detect.

Reduce the risks by:

  • Knowing the symptoms of CO poisoning - headaches, nausea, dizziness, breathlessness, and/or loss of consciousness.
  • If you have any of these symptoms, turn off your gas appliances and get fresh air immediately. Contact NHS 111, or ask your neighbours for help and contact the gas emergency line.
  • Having audible CO alarms within your home and testing them regularly.
  • Ensuring all gas appliances are properly installed and serviced annually by a Gas Safe Registered engineer.
  • Ensuring all chimneys and flues are cleaned and swept annually to prevent blockages.

Get extra support if you need it

The Priority Services Register (PSR) is a free service for people who might need extra support because of their communication, access or safety needs. It allows energy companies to provide you with additional help if you’re without your power, gas or water supply either in an emergency or because of planned works.

Register today at

Smell gas or suspect carbon monoxide?

Ring the National Gas Emergency Service immediately on 0800 111 999* at any time of the day or night.

*All calls are recorded and may be monitored.

Reach the right service faster and get your energy issue solved

  • For meter problems call your energy supplier.
  • For gas appliance and boiler problems call a Gas Safe Registered engineer.
  • Smell gas? Call the gas emergency number on 0800 111 999*. If you smell gas, open doors and windows, turn off gas at the meter (unless the meter is in a cellar). Don’t use electric switches. Extinguish naked flames. Call the gas emergency number immediately.
  • Power cut? Call 105.

Know your free emergency numbers and have them handy.

Stay Safe, Warm and Well guide

This article featured in the Stay Safe, Warm and Well guide - a helpful guide to support you during the winter months. Visit our guide for useful, up-to-date advice and practical information.

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