With less than two days to go until Christmas Day, new research from British Gas[i]reveals that it’s turkeys not toys that top the list of worries for the big day. Around 60% of people surveyed admitted that an oven breakdown or a power cut is their biggest fear. In fact nearly three times as many people were more concerned about going without their traditional Christmas dinner than forgetting to buy a gift for a loved one.
From frozen pipes and broken boilers to unwanted presents and rows over board games, the research also revealed that 26% of people have experienced a festive debacle on the big day.
Last year on Christmas Day:
- More than 5,000 people called British Gas for help with an emergency
- British Gas’s engineers turned the heating back on in 2,500 homes after radiators broke
- British Gas engineers fixed more than 200 leaking pipes up and down the country
Matthew Bateman, Managing Director, British Gas Home Services said, “We’re used to dealing with a huge range of Christmas Day disasters from flooded dining rooms to broken boilers. This Christmas is no different, 800 British Gas engineers will be working across the length and breadth of the UK on Christmas Day to help people survive a festive home emergency. We’re on hand 24/7 to fix boilers, pipes and leaks.”
Andy Maddocks, a British Gas engineer who helped a family get their Christmas Day back on track when disaster struck last year said, “I spent seven hours with a family to help fix a huge water leak to ensure they were all safe and warm. I even helped set up a new dining table for Christmas dinner. They offered me a turkey dinner to say thanks!”
To avoid disasters in the home this Christmas, British Gas has put together some simple tips and advice to keep you and your family safe and warm:
1.Check your radiators are working properly
- If your radiators have cold spots, this means you have air in the system, so you will need to bleed them to get them working efficiently.
- To do this, turn the system off and then turn the radiator key until the air stops and water runs consistently. Once you have turned the system back on, the problem should be solved.
2.Stop your home losing heat
- Hang heavy, lined curtains at windows to help keep the heat in and close them as soon as it starts getting dark. If you have Venetian blinds tilt the blades so they face downwards.
- Make sure all of your home’s windows and doors seal properly to stop warm air escaping. For those that don’t, fitting draft excluders, which you can buy from most DIY stores, is a quick and cheap way to keep heat in.
- Did you know your home loses a third of its heat through the walls? Insulating wall cavities could save you around £110 a year, and insulating your loft could also save you up to £145
3.Insulate your pipes
- Burst pipes are a huge issue for UK households during the winter months.
- To help prevent burst pipes, ensure all pipes are properly insulated by using lagging, which can be bought cheaply from most DIY shops.
- Remember to leave air bricks and vents clear as your home needs ventilation to stop condensation, and ensure a supply of fresh air.
- Wood-burning stoves, gas boilers and open fires also need a good air supply to ensure they burn efficiently
- Heating appliances should be serviced once a year by a Gas Safe registered engineer to help ensure they are working safely and efficiently.
- It’s vital that you don’t forget to have an audible Carbon Monoxide alarm fitted and that you test it regularly.
For more tips and advice on how to tackle common home-related problems during the winter period, visit: http://www.britishgas.co.uk/products-and-services/boilers-and-central-heating/cover/preparing-for-winter.html
[i] Research commissioned by British Gas and conducted by One Poll among 1,000 UK adults online on 16th December 2013
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