Trading standards officers are out today talking to residents the areas of Cheltenham that were affected by the floods. Read the advice from trading standards in our earlier post.
Archive for the 'safety' Category
Since the recent floods the Police have seen a rise in reports of offenders going door-to-door posing as ‘water board’ employees to try and trick their way into homes.
Dial 999 if suspicious callers turn up at their front door – particularly if they claim to work for the ‘water board’.
Detective Chief Inspector Geoff Brookes, said:
Be suspicious of anyone who comes to your door without a prior appointment, particularly if the person claims to work for, or on behalf of, Severn Trent or the ‘water board’. We have had several cases where offenders have used this cover story to trick householders into fiddling with pipes and taps claiming a water related emergency, allowing time for an accomplice to enter their address unseen via another entrance.
The Trading Standards Service is warning flood victims to be on their guard against rogue traders, cowboy builders and repair companies exploiting their desperate plight.
Roger Marles, Head of Gloucestershire Trading Standards Service said:
Sadly, we know from previous flooding incidents here in the county and elsewhere that conmen and disreputable traders will see the floods as a golden opportunity to make easy money from desperate families.
I strongly urge householders not to employ the first trader who comes to your door offering their services, but instead seek a range of quotes from local traders with reputations to maintain.
As the floods recede residents are being reminded by Trading Standards and the Police to beware of doorstep callers who may use the opportunity to trick householders out of their money and steal items from their houses.
They will use a variety of tactics such as testing the water, checking the electricity supply, or the gas supply or stating they need to turn the water off because of a leak further down the road.
Always ask for official identification from anyone at the door. If they are genuine they won’t mind. Don’t be embarrassed to check it thoroughly and call the company to make sure the caller is genuine.
Here’s a long, but useful, list of do’s and don’ts to help keep you and your family safe at home.
What to do right now
Bottled water or boiled bowser water remains the only safe source of drinking water until further notice.
The water supply in Cheltenham is expected to be back on tap early this week. As soon as we know for certain it’s safe to drink, we will be letting you know through this website.
In the meantime, please make sure all your taps are turned off to avoid your bathroom and kitchen being flooded, and to help with Severn Trent’s cleansing operation when the supply is restored.
What to do when the water supply returns
Do use the water for flushing toilets, bathing and taking a shower.
- drink the water – even after boiling it
- use the water for food preparation or washing dishes
- use the water for ice making
- use for cleaning your teeth
- use for making baby feeds
Read on for lots of useful tips about electricity, gas and telephone services, plus advice on cleaning up after flooding.
A crisis brings out the best in people – it can also bring out the worst. There have been bogus callers taking advantage of the situation. There are reports of people saying they are checking taps, posing as council officers and calling on vulnerable people saying they are delivering water. Read the report in today’s Echo. The police have advice on beating bogus callers on their website. See our previous posting on this subject.
There have been concerns expressed about food safety in businesses that are open despite having no water supply. Please be assured that inspections are being carried out daily and nightly by the council’s food safety team. Most businesses are complying with hygiene standards voluntarily but if you do have a complaint or worry then call us on 01242 262626 and they will be looked into.
Alternatively, if you are a business looking for information then please read about the crisis team set up for businesses hit by the flooding.
In the event that you lose your mains water supply you are strongly advised to turn your boiler off so that there is no risk of damage to or from it due to possible overheating of your hot water and/or heating system.
Your boiler should remain turned off until such time as your supply is reinstated and you are certain that the hot water and or heating system is fully replenished with water.