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Winter weather tips

With weather forecasters now predicting a cold snap you can reduce your risk of cold weather damage by taking some simple precautions. Every year households and businesses experience millions of pounds of damage from burst pipes and other cold weather related damage. Help reduce your risk by following our simple tips:

How to prevent burst pipes

  • Use good quality lagging (BS6700) on water pipes and tanks
  • Ensure all taps are turned off properly when not in use and repair any dripping taps or faulty ball valves to prevent waste pipes freezing
  • If your building has a history of freezing incidents or is left unoccupied set the heating on at a low level and drain all equipment that is susceptible to freezing
  • If your building is unoccupied arrange for it to be inspected at least daily during periods of extreme cold weather
  • Install a frost stat to boilers and/or central heating to prevent freezing
  • Safeguard your boilers including drain and condensate lines against freeze
  • If a boiler is not in use drain it down
  • Have all your heating systems serviced at least annually to ensure they are working correctly

Be prepared so you can act quickly should an incident occur

  • Keep a record of the layout and route of all water, gas and electricity services within your building
  • Familiarise yourself with the location of all main and subsidiary stop taps and check that they are working correctly
  • Keep a record of the contact details of a reliable local plumber

Minimise the damage

  • Isolate any water using a stop cock and turn on all cold taps to drain the system as quickly as possible
  • Turn off any central heating in the building
  • Protect or remove any contents or equipment that may be damaged
  • Never use a naked flame to thaw ice plugged pipes or equipment as this could cause a burst and further damage

Published 17th January 2012

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