29th March 2013

Protect Your Home As Snow Thaws, Advises Consumer Council

The Consumer Council is urging consumers to protect their homes as snow continues to thaw.

Antoinette McKeown, Chief Executive of the Consumer Council comments “The recent adverse weather has caused problems for consumers across Northern Ireland.  It is therefore vitally important that consumers now consider protecting their homes against the risk of flooding.”

The Consumer Council’s advice is:

·        Consider ordering sand bags if you feel your house is at risk;

·        Move important documents and items to a high place;

·        Prepare a flooding kit – including copies of important documents, useful telephone numbers, a torch and warm waterproof clothing and blankets;

·        Know how to turn off your electricity and gas supplies.  If you don’t know how to do this contact your supplier.  Never touch electrical switches or appliances such as sockets and meters if flood water has come into your home; and

·        Get the latest warnings from local news, weather and traffic bulletins.  The Met Office website also provides information about weather warnings. Check the Roads Service Traffic Watch website for information on roads affected or closed by flooding.

If your home is affected by flooding:

·        Stay safe!  It can be difficult to know how deep flood waters are and they can conceal hidden dangers such as dislodged manhole covers.

·        Contact Flooding Incident line on 0300 2000 100. It will take your details and pass this onto the most appropriate organisation on your behalf.

·        If you are in danger contact the emergency services by ringing 999.

The Consumer Council has more information and advice available online at www.consumercouncil.org.uk/water/flooding