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Beware of 90mph children’s trampolines and balance bikes

8th January 2015 Print

The Met Office has issued yellow weather warnings for this weekend ahead of predicted winds that could reach 90mph in exposed areas.

Scotland, the north of England and northern Wales will be worst affected but the rest of the country remains braced for winds of between 60mph and 70mph.

Direct Line is warning householders with children’s toys in the garden, such as trampolines and balance bikes, or garden furniture, to store these items inside or tie them down securely as these could cause damage to properties.  

There is still some uncertainty as to the extent of the disruptive conditions but transport and power supplies are likely to be affected. There is also the possibility that the yellow weather warning will be upgraded to amber.

Katie Lomas, spokesperson at Direct Line, commented: “The adverse weather conditions this weekend have the potential to damage homes and cause disruption to public services so householders must be aware of this and take appropriate precautions to protect their properties.  

“Any new toys in the garden that children received for Christmas could become dangerous projectiles in storm conditions so should be stored away in advance of the expected gales this weekend.   

“Large waves in some coastal areas and lightening are also likely to become a hazard, so we’re reminding people to be on their guard and take simple steps like securing loose items to help keep disruption and damage to a minimum.”

Before high winds strike:

Shut and lock all windows and doors. Damage to garage and shed doors are also common claims so be sure to keep these closed and locked when not in use. This will not only prevent the wind blowing them off the hinges, it is good practice to keep your property secure to avoid an opportunist burglary.

Remove any debris or lose items from outside your home.

If possible, put your car in a garage or avoid parking near trees and other objects that could become unstable.

Check where your family and any pets will be during the expected storm.

Be prepared for power cuts by having a torch and blanket to hand.

If a wind storm does strike:

Get in touch with the insurer as soon as possible. Direct Line will usually pay for all emergency repairs that need to be carried out to stop the damage getting worse.

Take photographs of all parts of the home damaged as a result of storms. It may help with the settlement of claims.

Use a plastic sheet or tarpaulin to temporarily repair storm-damaged roofs.

Nearly half of all weather related claims are due to roof damage. However, personal safety is paramount and if it is not safe to do so, do not attempt even temporary repairs.