Cold Weather Alert – How To Prepare For The Big Essex Freeze

snow on the roads in Essex

We’ve not had a prolonged freezing cold winter in Essex for many years, but some forecasters are predicting a bitterly cold end to January and start of February this year. Cold weather poses many health and safety hazards to prepare yourself for the worst, and hope for the best.

Safety When Driving

This should go without saying, but because every cold snap results in serious traffic accidents, here’s a gentle reminder – prepare your car before heading out. If your cars windows have frozen up you must clear them all completely before driving off – driving a car with obscured windscreens and windows is illegal,  so take 5 minutes to clear your windscreens before driving off. The quickest way to get your car ready in the morning is to turn on the engine and heater fans, making sure it is directed to the windscreen, and turn on the rear window heater. Then close the doors to help the car warm up inside, and scrape the ice off the windscreen and side windows.  Before driving off ensure the windscreen is clear of condensation too.

It is a good idea to have a blanket, torch, bottle of water and shovel in the car just in case you do get stuck in traffic during heavy snow. Always remember to have a mobile phone charger in your car too. The best advice however, is to only drive out in snow and ice if you have to.

Safety When Walking

Black ice has a habit of slipping you up just when you least expect it! No matter how many cold winters you have experienced, black ice will still catch you out. Slipping on ice may well be lots of fun for kids, but as we gold older and our balance and reflexes weaken, falling on ice can lead to debilitating injuries. or worse. So take care when walking. Always wear suitable footwear that is waterproof and has excellent grip, and wear a heat, gloves and scarf too.

Boiler and Heating Problems

The cold weather often leads to boiler problems. Every year across Essex hundreds of people experience boiler failure just as the weather hits its coldest pint in the year. There are many reasons why a boiler might pack up during freezing conditions, sometimes it is simply because it has not been serviced and the additional strain during the cold weather results in mechanical failure, but sometimes freezing pipes can cause failure.

If you boiler does stop working it is vital that you contact  emergency plumbers as soon as possible to investigate and rectify the problem. Not only could you be left without heating and hot water, the boiler might be in a dangerous condition and pose serious risk to your home and health.

One thing we be sure of though is that no matter how cold and treacherous it gets in Essex this winter, it will soon pass and before you know it it will be spring again. And remember, this can be a magical time for kids, so make the most of it and enjoy the deep snow, make snowmen, have some snowball fights and wrap up warm!


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