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Prevent Burst Pipes

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Station Commander Alan Haley from the Community Safety department at Hereford & Worcester Fire and Rescue Service (HWFRS) said: “With temperatures expected to remain low over the next few days, a few simple precautions could save a significant amount of time, money and effort.

“Clearly a flooding incident can be very disruptive and costly for homes and businesses, and we are keen to encourage everyone to do what they can to prevent pipes freezing and bursting.”

He recommended that pipes are insulated and that people know what to do should a pipe burst, whether at home or at work. This includes identifying where the stop tap is located and knowing how to safely turn off both water and electrical supplies in an emergency.

How to prevent pipes from freezing

  • Fix any leaky taps and replace washers. This will stop water from freezing and blocking the pipe.
  • Leave the heating on low in cold weather as this helps to heat pipes. It is especially important to do this if you are going away or leaving your home unattended for a period of time. The last thing you want is to come home to a flooded house.
  • Consider leaving your loft door or hatch open on really cold days to give heated air a chance to circulate in the loft, warming pipes or tanks.

What to do if your pipes freeze or burst

  • The first thing you must do if your pipes burst or freeze is to turn off the water at the mains, and so it’s important to find out where your mains are in case of an emergency. Stop taps are usually located under the kitchen sink or in the garage.
  • Contact a plumber to deal with burst pipe repairs.
  • If the pipe has not burst, protect any electrics around the pipe in case it does.
  • If the pipe is next to a gas supply, call a plumber immediately and don’t try to thaw it out yourself.