The energy suppliers warn thousands of households in Scotland are expected to need help getting their heating and hot water systems back up and running.
The news comes as The Weather Company told the Mirror that we could be in for ‘the coldest winter since 2012’, with Scotland facing the brunt of this cold spell as temperatures below -10 in the country are expected.
Each year, Scottish Gas fixes around 1.2 million boilers, with the first cold snap traditionally associated with a spike in demand for urgent engineer callouts.
People are being advised to prepare their homes now, to ensure their heating and hot water systems can will last them through to next spring, as well as learning how to resolve any minor issues themselves.
Scottish Gas says getting ahead of the weather is especially important while social distancing measures are in place.
The gas provider has advised people to bleed their radiators, wrap cold pipes in insulating material, use a smart meter and install a carbon monoxide detector to stay safe and warm this winter.
They noted that people who take proactive steps to keep their heating and hot water working properly will help engineers prioritise emergency response cases and visits to vulnerable people who are most in need of support.
Julie Dickson, a Scottish Gas service and repair engineer, said: “We know that having no heating or hot water during the colder months is people’s worst disaster in the home, and this week could be the first real test for many households’ heating systems.
“Making a few small changes around the home will help ensure your heating and hot water system is working at its best. What’s more, a system that’s in good shape will keep you warmer for longer without using more energy than it needs – an important way to keep your bills down, at a time when more people are working and socialising at home.
“It can be rewarding to resolve minor issues on your own, but we’re here to step in if you’re ever uncertain – and we’re all taking the necessary safety precautions on home visits, including wearing full PPE.”