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Housing services

Coping with home emergencies

Information to help you be prepared to cope with a home emergency in your council tenancy.

image of a burst pipe

Don't panic - be prepared

Burst Pipes

If you get a burst pipe:

  • Turn off the water at the mains cold water stop value immediately.
  • Turn on all your taps and drain the water from the system.
  • Contact us to get the pipe fixed on 0141 577 3700.
  • Try to find the leak, tie a rag around the leak and place a bucket or container underneath it.

Out of Hours Emergencies - If a pipe bursts after office hours, contact 08080 031601 and ask for the emergency plumber to attend to your property.

Frost Precautions

Serious damage can be caused to your home and your possessions if pipes freeze during cold weather.

You can prevent any damage at the start of winter or a cold spell by taking these precautions:

  • Keep your home as warm as possible.
  • Make sure that your pipes are lagged.
  • Know where the water stop valve is and know how to turn it off. (If it does not work let us know and we'll get it repaired). If you need any advice about this contact us.
  • If you are going away for a long holiday, let us know. We may be able to drain down your pipes to prevent damage from burst pipes while you are away.

Gas Leaks

If you smell gas or suspect a leak:

  • Turn off the gas at the stop tap (this is a lever next to the gas meter)
  • Open windows and doors
  • Do not turn on switches or light a cigarette
  • Call National Gas Emergency Network on 0800 111 999 immediately

No Water

If you have no water you should check with your neighbours to see if they are also affected. If they are then it is likely to be a mains problem such as a burst pipe in the street. You should contact the water authority to notify them of the problem.

If you are the only person affected then you may have a frozen pipe. You should report this to the Repairs Call Centre immediately as it could cause major damage to your home and furnishings if it bursts.

You should identify the locations of your stop cocks as soon as you move into your property. If you aren't sure how the water supply to your home works ask us right away because it is important that you know what to do if you have a burst pipe.

In an emergency you should contact the Repairs Call Centre on 0141 577 3700 or Scottish Water on 0845 601 8855 (Information Line 0800 1005333).

Power Cuts

It is a good idea to keep a torch handy in case of a power cut. Torch

Keep it somewhere you can easily locate it in the dark. If the power goes out in the whole house, check outside to see if your neighbours are affected. If they are it is likely to be a network problem and you may have to wait until your power company has resolved the problem before your power comes back on.

If the failure only affects your house then you should check your fuse box to see if a switch has tripped (this commonly happens when a light bulb blows). If you are unsure of what to do or think the problem is more serious you should call the Repairs Call Centre on 0141 577 3700 or our Out of Hours Emergency number on 08080 031601


All storage tanks and toilet cisterns have overflow pipes to prevent flooding, you will notice a constant flow of water from an outside pipe if this happens which can freeze during cold weather and cause flooding. If you can see this in your property please contact the Repairs Call Centre on 0141 577 3700 as soon as possible.

Liquid Paraffin and Bottled Gas Heaters

If you live in a flat or maisonette, you are not allowed to use or store a bottled gas or paraffin heater in your home. These heaters can be dangerous and will cause condensation. If you live in a house or bungalow you can use it, but we would strongly advise that you don't. If you do, you must make sure that your house is properly ventilated.

Oxygen Cylinders

Let us know right away if you or anyone in your household is using an oxygen cylinder in your home for medical reasons.


You can help to keep your home secure and prevent it being broken into by following these few simple rules:

  • Make sure that all windows and doors are securely locked when you are not at home.
  • Do not leave notes for people when you go out or leave your curtains drawn in the daytime.
  • If you go away on holiday cancel regular deliveries such as milk and newspapers. You may wish to tell a trusted neighbour that you are going away.
  • Use a door chain lock and, if you have an unexpected caller, check the caller's identification before opening the door fully.
    door chain lock
  • Never let a stranger into your home without seeing their identification first.  All council, electricity, gas, and Scottish Water staff carry identification.
  • Check the caller's identification carefully. If you are in any doubt, do not let them in and call the police on 999.
  • Use the "No Cold Calling" stickers available free from Council offices.

If you live in a house with a communal controlled door entry system, do not allow strangers into the building. Consider fitting a door spyhole viewer for added security.

Fire Precautions

The following information is important to reduce the risk of fire in your home:

  • Remember to change the battery in your smoke alarm and test it regularly
  • Keep all passageways and halls clear.
  • Keep matches and lighters out of the reach of children.
  • Ensure that cigarettes are completely out in the ashtray
  • When cooking do not leave pans of hot oil unattended.
  • Switch off all electrical appliances when you are not using them and do not overload plug sockets.
  • Avoid using paraffin or oil heaters.
  • Close all doors and windows to prevent fire spreading.
  • Be aware of candle safety

In the event of fire, dial 999 and ask for the fire service.

Book a free home fire safety visit

Scottish Fire & Rescue Service This link opens in a new browser window

Every hour of every day there's a house fire somewhere in Scotland. You can help reduce the chances of this happening to you by booking a home fire safety visit. These visits are carried out by the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service, who can also fit smoke alarms free of charge if your home requires them. The visits are free and easy to arrange so book your visit today! You can arrange a a home visit or download some fire safety guides from the Scottish Fire & Rescue Service at:

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