UK Householders Should Be Prepared for Freezing Weather Warns Allianz Your Cover

Jan 17, 2013, 12:46 ET from

LONDON, January 17, 2013 /PRNewswire/ --

With temperatures predicted to reach as low as -10 this weekend, Allianz Your Cover is urging households to prepare for what the insurance industry calls 'burst pipe season'.

Research by the insurer found that households could be at increased risk of damage caused by a frozen water pipe bursting in their home, because the rising cost of fuel bills means they cannot afford to leave the heating on.

A poll of 3,000 people carried out for Allianz Your Cover, revealed that 51% of Brits are less likely to leave their heating on overnight or whilst they are out of the home, due to soaring energy prices, leaving them much more likely to suffer water damage from a frozen pipe bursting.

The survey also revealed that 1 in 4 homes have no protective lagging around their water pipes - which should be a significant cause of concern for the occupants.

If faced with a burst pipe, 49% of people said that they would not know how to deal with the situation, with 22% unaware of where the stop cock is in their home (Allianz Your Cover also provides advice on how to deal with burst pipes in this handy infographic).

Jon Lott from Allianz Your Cover comments: "Water escaping from frozen pipes can cause extensive and expensive damage. During periods of severe weather it's important that householders take preventative measures to protect their homes and also know how to control the damage should they experience a burst pipe."

Allianz Your Cover recommends the following preventative measures:

  • Setting the central heating at the minimum temperature even when you are out of the property can make all the difference - the house doesn't have to be kept at the same temperature as normal to stop a pipe freezing and bursting
  • Leave the loft hatch door open to allow warmer air to circulate
  • Insulate exposed pipes in the attic and wrap tanks with good quality lagging
  • Repair any dripping taps and insulate outside taps
  • Find out where your stopcock is located - it's better to know now in case you do ever suffer a leak

If you do experience a burst pipe:

  • Immediately turn off the stopcock to prevent further flooding
  • Turn on all the cold taps in your home and flush the toilet a few times to reduce flooding and pressure on the system
  • Switch off your boiler and drain any hot water
  • Block escaping water using towels and use buckets to catch drips
  • Move any electrical items away if it is safe to do so. If water is in contact with any electrical sockets or fittings do not attempt to touch them
  • Call your insurer's 24-hour helpline or a local plumber as quickly as possible