RESIDENTS are being advised to make sure their homes are protected during the current cold snap with the Met Office having issued an amber alert this week.

The Forest of Dean is under a Level 3 cold weather alert which will be in place until at least Friday (January 20).

The Met Office advises looking out for friends and family who are vulnerable to the cold, ensuring they have access to hot food and drinks and are able to maintain an indoor temperature of at least 18°C while the alert is in place.

And local water company Severn Trent is advising people on how they can avoid damage such as burst pipes and leaks at home as temperatures plummet.

Severn Trent’s top winter tips include:

· Wrap all pipework, fittings, and storage tanks in unheated areas of your home (such as lofts, roofs, outbuildings and garages) with foam tubes

· If you have outside taps, either insulate them or drain them down to the pipework that links to the tap

· Make sure that you and other members of your household know where your stop tap is located so that it can be reached quickly in an emergency, and most importantly, check that it’s working properly 

· If you do have a problem with your water supply this winter, with either low pressure or no water coming out of your taps, first check to see if your neighbours are having similar trouble. This will help establish if the issue is on Severn Trent’s network or on your own supply pipe. If your neighbours’ water supply is normal it is likely that you will need to call a plumber. If more than one household is affected, you’ll need to ring Severn Trent’s 24-hour emergency number to report the problem - 0800 783 4444 

More tips on preparing your home for winter can be found at