For millions of elderly and vulnerable people, winter brings more than just the thought of Christmas and cozy nights around the TV, there is real fear in the cold days ahead, especially if the heating system breaks down.
The Chartered Institute of Plumbing and Heating Engineering (CIPHE) is urging all families and friends of elderly or vulnerable people, to make sure they have their boilers serviced and their plumbing systems checked before the cold snap kicks in.
Ideally, an annual health check similar to the concept of an MoT should be undertaken on all plumbing and heating systems.
Well maintained systems are less likely to break down or develop faults, and service costs are considerably cheaper compared to the price of an emergency call out. Planned maintenance also means you can shop around for a quote from a professional engineer, rather than risk calling out a cowboy.
Heating systems that have been turned off all spring and summer may need some TLC to ensure theywork effectively and efficiently all winter long. Plumbing systems should be inspected to ensure they are adequately insulated for the winter ahead and those dripping taps need attention too – just one dripping tap can waste more than 60 litres of water a week if it isn’t rectified.
Kevin Wellman, Chief Executive Officer of the Chartered Institute of Plumbing and Heating Engineering said: “The elderly are more likely to have older heating and plumbing systems in their home, which makes them more prone to breakdowns or faults if not correctly maintained.
“It should be remembered that cost of malfunctioning systems can be far more than financial. A boiler breakdown during harsh weather can put the elderly at considerable risk to hyperthermia and other health conditions due to the cold. Unsafe boilersalso bring the hidden danger of carbon monoxide poisoning, while burst or frozen pipes can cause extensive damage to your home and possessions, whatever age you are.”
So if you know someone who would be put at a considerable risk should their heating or plumbing systems malfunction, make sure that maintenance appointment is booked in. For a list of professional plumbing and heating engineers in your area visit www.ciphe.org.uk, phone 01708 472791 or email firstname.lastname@example.org