Lagging exposed water pipes and locating stop taps are just two jobs householders should carry out now to help prevent the misery of flooding in the home.
That is the message from South East Water, which has joined up with the Consumer Council for Water (CCWater), the Met Office and WaterSafe to ask customers to take action to get winter ready.
The warning comes after CCWater’s 2014 research revealed that more than half of households in England and Wales admitted to not protecting their pipes from freezing. Young people aged 24 to 35 are the least likely to protect pipework, while a fifth of households have no idea what to do if a pipe freezes in their homes.
The Association of British Insurers says the average insurance claim for a burst water pipe is around £6,500 to £7,500.
Steve Andrews, head of service management at South East Water, said, “It is amazing how many people who contact us about a burst water pipe in the home have no idea where their stop tap is.
“It is essential that everyone finds the stop tap now and checks it is working as being able to turn it off in an emergency will instantly stop water from doing any more damage.
“Cold weather can also affect our network of pipes carrying water from our treatment works to homes and businesses but our dedicated leakbuster teams are out there in all kinds of weather day and night repairing and restoring supplies.”
Mel Harrowsmith, head of civil contingencies at the Met Office, said, “While it’s too early to predict what weather this winter will bring, our Get Ready for Winter web pages provide useful information that helps the UK public to be prepared and safe during the winter months, whatever the weather.”
South East Water has put together top tips on getting ready for winter on its website including a short film on how to insulate pipes.
More information and the video can be found at www. southeastwater.co.uk/winter. More information about preparing for winter can be found on the Met Office’s website at www.metoffice.gov.uk/getreadyforwinter.
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