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Winter advice

Cold weather can disrupt our daily lives in lots of different ways, so it's especially important to look after ourselves and vulnerable people in our community.

There are measures we can all take to keep safe during the cold weather.

The You and your home booklet will help you prepare for emergencies that could occur throughout the year.

Inside, you can get advice on:

You can also get a hard copy of this booklet in your local leisure or community centre, or you can request one by contacting us on 028 9027 0428 or envhealth@belfastcity.gov.uk

Protect your water pipes

Protect your property and your possessions from cold snaps by insulating exposed water pipes. If a frozen pipe bursts inside your property, not only do you risk disruption to your water supply, but your personal belongings could be damaged or completely destroyed.

For more information on protecting your water pipes you can:

If you experience problems with your water supply, phone Waterline on 08457 44 00 88 or visit NI water.

Icy driving conditions

During cold weather, safety on our roads becomes even more important. Take the time to check the weather forecast before travelling. 

It may be best to avoid long trips during icy conditions. But we know that on some occasions, driving during freezing weather conditions can't be avoided.

We've brought together some tips to help you reach your destination safely.

  • Clear your windscreen of ice and snow before setting off to improve visibility. We encourage drivers not to leave engines running as this can release unnecessary emissions and also attract thieves.
  • Bring food, hot drinks and warm blankets on longer journeys. And ensure your phone is fully charged.
  • Slow down! Allow three times more space than normal between yourself and the car in front.
  • Brake gently. This will prevent you from skidding. If your wheels lock, ease off the brakes.

For more information, you can download the You and your home booklet (PDF - 1.4MB)

To keep up to date with the latest travel and traffic news, visit Traffic Watch NI

Sand and grit

Keep a supply of salt and sand handy to put on your steps and paths in icy conditions. You can buy this cheaply at any DIY store.

It is easier to clear ice or snow early in the day before it becomes packed together from people walking on it. You should never use water to melt snow or ice as it may refreeze and turn to black ice which is invisible and very slippery.

Flooding

Flooding can happen any time of year. So if you live in an area which is prone to flooding, there are lots you can do to protect your home from heavy water damage.

Before flooding occurs, you can get some flood protection equipment in advance. For example, buy your own sandbags.

During flooding, please remember that flood water represents serious risks and dangers. Six inches of water could sweep you off your feet. Two feet of water can lift and float a car.

  • If flood water is getting higher go to a safe place. Either upstairs, a family or friends house or an emergency support centre and bring ID and essential medications.
  • Be neighbourly and check if anyone needs help, particularly if they are elderly or vulnerable.
  • Call the Flooding Incident Line on 0300 2000 100 to report flooding of your street, or the emergency services on 999 if someone's life is in danger.

After flooding, call us on 0800 707 6965 to report any damage to your home or property. 

For more information on what to do if there is a flood, visit our flooding advice page.


Contact us
Environmental health
028 9027 0428
Cecil Ward Building
4-10 Linenhall Street
Belfast
BT2 8BP