London Fire Brigade

Plan ahead to cope with cold weather

05 February 2015

Dozen a Day

We're urging people to prepare for freezing weather conditions during the winter months as cold weather continues to grip London. We've attended nearly a dozen flooded homes every day during the current cold spell and we're concerned that unless people prepare for cold weather there could be a sharp increase in these type of incidents if it gets cold again this winter.

The dangers

The main dangers during cold spells are floods caused by frozen water pipes when they thaw out, fires caused by electric heaters left unattended and people walking on ice and falling through it.  

The Brigade’s Third Officer, Dave Brown, said:

“Temperatures haven’t fallen below freezing for long during the current cold spell, but people shouldn’t let down their guard.  If a much colder spell arrives, we know from previous winters that there could be a sharp rise in the number of flooded homes, fires and people falling through ice. People should lag pipes to prevent homes from flooding, be extremely careful with electric heaters to prevent fires and stay off frozen lakes and ponds. 

We’re particularly concerned about people who use electric heaters to keep warm. If  you use one, make sure it’s kept well away from anything that could catch fire, such as curtains or furniture.”

What to do

• Lag your pipes to prevent them from freezing so they won’t burst and flood your home - and homes around you - when the weather warms up. 
• Stay well away from frozen ponds and lakes and keep a close eye on children and animals.
• Take extra care in the home to avoid fires. Unattended cookers, candles and electric heaters all pose a serious fire risk.
• Fit a smoke alarm on each level of your home to give you a vital early warning if a blaze breaks out – and make sure each device is fitted with a live battery.

When to call us

Plumbing and issues with water pipes should always be reported to a plumber in the first instance – members of the public should only call 999 in an emergency.