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Severe wintry weather advice

A fantastic display of icicles in Catherine de Barnes Photo: Janet Parker

Severe wintry weather continues today with some parts of the Midlands having more snowfall overnight.

During the recent snowfall, hospitals in the Midlands have seen a rise in the number of admissions with winter related injuries. Here is a guide to being prepared and staying safe while the severe weather continues.

Stay informed what impact the weather is having on your area by visiting the Environment Agency website for the Midlands either on Twitter: @EnvAgencyMids or go to the Environment Agency Midlands website

Road closures, staying informed

In adverse weather conditions roads might be closed check the Highways Agency websites before setting of on a journey.

For updates on possible road closures in the East Midlands click here.

For updates on possible road closures in the West Midlands click here.

How to drive safely in the snow

Ice is extremely hard to see and dangerous to drive in, sudden temperature drops can turn surface water into ice patches, day or night.

Snow or sleet showers also make driving conditions extremely dangerous.

Here are some tips for driving safely in these wintry conditions.

  • Allow up to 10 times the usual braking distance in icy conditions
  • Avoid sudden braking, acceleration or steering
  • If the weather is bad or heavy snow forecast try to re-schedule your journey
  • Snow dramatically reduces visibility, reduce your speed and use dipped headlights
  • Traction is a major problem in snow and ice. Keep your wheels turning as slowly as possible, especially when pulling away.
  • Ensure tyres are inflated correctly with a minimum of 3mm of tread
  • Make sure your screenwash is topped up, using the right concentration to ensure it does not freeze
  • Stay in a higher gear to have better control, move off in a higher gear rather than first if it is slippery
  • On a downhill slope keep your speed low, do not let it build up
  • If you get into a skid take your foot off the pedals and steer
  • Only use the brakes if you cannot steer out of trouble
When a drain pipe freezes, waste liquid can sometimes travel back up to the boiler, causing it to cut out Credit: PA

During freezing weather conditions boiler heating systems are at a higher risk of breaking as pipes can freeze.

When a drain pipe freezes, waste liquid can sometimes travel back up to the boiler, causing it to cut out.

Here are some tips on how to reduce the risk of damage to your heating system.

  • Insulate boiler pipes with lagging, preparing them for icy weather (including the corners)- Put lagging on pipes that may be outside- Ensure your loft insulation is thick enough, it should be approximately 10 inches thick- Ensure your home is insulated
  • Make sure you know where your stopcock is and ensure you can turn it on and off.- Make sure your boiler is serviced by a Gas Safe professional- If you are away from home for a few days, keep your heating on constant on a low level (around 15 degrees)
  • If you are away for a longer length of time and wish to save money, shut down the system completely, turning off all the mains stopcocks, drain pipes, toilets and radiators.-If your pipes do freeze, turn the water off, drain the system and leave the taps open.

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