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Birmingham City Council

Winter - Be Prepared

Keeping warm is a vital part of keeping well in the winter particularly for older people, the young and those with chronic illness, as more people get ill and the number of deaths rise. In order to help people keep well this winter the Department of Health has launched its annual Keep warm, keep well campaign.

Keep warm, keep well

The campaign offers advice on remaining healthy in cold weather and includes information on energy efficiency, grants and benefits available for the financially disadvantaged and vulnerable. Read the Keep warm, keep well advice booklet.

 Burst pipes

Heating not working ?

Below are some simple steps for you to check, by carrying out these checks you may be able to restore your heating without having to call out an engineer.

  • If you have a prepayment (token) meter, check that it has not run out of credit.
  • Check that your thermostat is turned up to maximum, if your heating then starts to work you can turn it back down to the temperature you require.
  • Check that all radiator valves are turned up
  • Check that your timer is switched on
  • Check if your boiler is displaying a slow blue flashing light and the codes F77 or LF – if this is the case please read the following advice.

If you are a council tenant and your boiler is not showing the above displays, you have carried out the above checks and your heating and hot water is still not working, please report this by calling our Repairs Line on:

  • 0800 073 3333 - free from a landline
  • 0300 555 0404 - from a mobile phone. It's not free but is cheaper to call, as mobile phone networks charge more to call freephone numbers
  • 0121 678 5343 - textphone for people who are deaf or hard of hearing.

Burst pipes.

If you have burst pipes:

  • You should turn off the water supply to your home. You can do this by turning off the stop tap which is usually located under the kitchen sink, in the bathroom or by the front door. (video showing how to find a stop tap)
  • If you have a hot water cylinder leak please turn off the valve which are usually located in the airing cupboard.

If you are a council tenant please report this as soon as possible by calling our Repairs Line on:

  • 0800 073 3333 - free from a landline
  • 0300 555 0404 - from a mobile phone. It's not free but is cheaper to call, as mobile phone networks charge more to call freephone numbers
  • 0121 678 5343 - textphone for people who are deaf or hard of hearing.

 Frozen pipes
 No credit on payment card

Frozen Pipes

If you are a council tenant and have frozen pipes, unfortunately our engineers are unable to assist you to restore your water supply.

Further advice from Severn Trent

You should turn off the water supply to your home. You can do this by turning off the stop tap which is usually located under the kitchen sink, in the bathroom or by the front door. (video showing how to find a stop tap)

  • You can slowly thaw the pipe with hot water bottles or a towel soaked in hot water, starting at the end nearest the tap.
  • Never use a naked flame or blowtorch to thaw the pipe.
  • Don’t leave taps dripping or running as the water may not drain down the plughole if the pipe below is frozen.
  • Stock up on bottled water.

No Credit on your payment card ?

If you are struggling to top up your payment card you should contact your fuel supplier as soon as possible. They may be able to help. Main suppliers are listed below.

ADVICE AND SUPPORT
If you are in financial hardship you may be entitled to make a claim for welfare benefits from the Government to help support your family. A benefits maximisation check can help to see if you are getting all of your entitlements.

Please contact our neighbourhood office network to book an appointment, details are available from: http://www.birmingham.gov.uk/neighoffice

Other agencies offering advice and support

Further advice and information is available in the keep warm, keep well booklet

Further information for our council tenants

You can report a non urgent repair online using our housing repair booking form

If you do need to call us out regarding a heating or hot water failure...

  • Please be aware that during the winter months our engineers are extremely busy.
  • We will be prioritising our appointments to ensure we assist those most vulnerable in the first instance.
  • If you need to call us out we will try to be with you as quickly as possible.
  • Tenants missing appointments is a big problem for us, it is therefore important that you are at home when an appointment is ready. As set out in the Tenants Handbook our policy is to charge for missed appointments.
 Be prepared on the roads

Always remember that when there are severe weather warnings the public are warned to only travel when it is absolutely necessary.

Ensure you carry out a check of your vehicle before setting out, carry a severe weather mergency kit in your vehicle (an ice scraper and de-icer, torch, warm clothes, blanket, boots, first-aid kit, battery jump leads, a spade if it’s likely to snow, food and drink)

Highways Agency - Winter driving advice

Please help your neighbours, your family and friends by passing on this advice.

For the latest information on disruption to our services due to the weather visit disruption.birmingham.gov.uk