HALTON residents are urged to be wary of unscrupulous traders offering to repair damage caused by the recent storms.

Halton Trading Standards is warns householders that reputable businesses are going to be at their busiest and may not be able to attend to their repairs immediately.

They say It is therefore possible that this situation will be seen as a major opportunity by rogue traders to seek business from residents needing urgent repairs.

The advice from trading standards is to not be panicked into agreeing for work to be done. Such situations are welcomed by opportunist rogue traders who may knock at the door offering to carry out immediate repairs.

Clr Dave Cargill, board member for community safety, said: "Don't agree for work to be done by traders who cold-call. Home insurance policies will cover many instances of storm damage and your insurance company may be able to help secure a reputable and competent trader to carry out the repairs.

“Don't let the relief of finding someone to carry out the work override your common sense.

"You could find yourself agreeing to pay an exorbitant price for the work or paying for more work than is necessary. Even worse, the repairs may be shoddy and not stand up to the next bout of stormy weather.

"If you feel that it is an emergency situation, seek a second opinion from a family member, friend or neighbour and please look out for those in your community who are elderly or vulnerable."

Should you notice any suspicious activity please report it to the police on the non-emergency number 101.

For general consumer advice ring the Citizens Advice consumer helpline on 08454 04 05 06 or visit http://www.adviceguide.org.uk/