Most of the UK north of London his faced with stormy weather this week.
As Hurricane Gonzalo is set to make an unwelcome appearance, the Met Office has issue a Yellow Weather Warning for this Tuesday, covering much of the UK.
Strong gales, with gusts of up to 60mph and torrential rain has the potential to cause damage to anything kept outside.
Thankfully, we've had enough notice to make careful preparations before the turbulent weather arrives.
Keep your home, garden and outdoor play equipment safe with these top tips.
1. Remove Any Loose Items From The Garden
Make a thorough inspection of your garden and notice any loose items. Some will be obvious, like toys left lying on the lawn, but others require a little more attention. Hanging baskets, bins, go-karts, bicycles, anything that could be moved by the wind should be secured in a garage. Anything lifted into the air by the wind can cause damage to your or your neighbours' property, or could potentially injure somebody by striking them.
2. Check Anchor Points
Large pieces of play equipment such as climbing frames and swing sets should already be anchored to the ground for safety reasons. Over time, as the equipment moves slightly during use, these anchors can work loose. Also heavy rainfall can wash away the mud the anchors are pushed into. Check every anchor point thoroughly to check it is capable of holding the frame down in the event of a strong gust of wind. After the storm has passed, re-check every point again before allowing children to use the equipment.
3. Secure Loose Accessories
If your play equipment includes hanging accessories such as a swing or trapeze bar, it may be possible to unclip these easily from the frame, and keep them indoors for the duration of the storm. If not, consider securing them tightly to the frame so they aren't crashing into each other in the wind.
4. Keep Drains Clear
If you have drains on the ground, make sure these are clear of leaves and mud so that rain water can flow freely away. If it is safe to do so, check gutters and down pipes are clear of leaves and debris so that rain water can flow away rather than flood into the garden.
5. Bring Furry Friends Indoors
Besides the risk of injury from flying debris, or the possibility hutches could be tipped over by the wind, storms can also cause psychological distress to pets. Keep furry friends safe by inviting them indoors for the duration of the bad weather.
You can get more advice on how to prepare your property and cope during a power cut from the Met Office.