November 28, 2010 19:01 ET

Swinton Urges Homeowners to Take Precautions to Prevent Burst Pipes

MANCHESTER, UNITED KINGDOM--(Marketwire - Nov. 28, 2010) - With snow predicted to fall across the country this weekend and the cold snap expected to last until well into next week, Swinton, one of the UKs largest home insurance providers, is warning homeowners to take simple precautions to prevent frozen pipes bursting, which can cause extensive damage to a property.

During very cold weather conditions, pipes can freeze over and when they thaw, they can thaw very rapidly, causing the escape of water from attic or loft pipes. This can, in the worst cases, lead to ceilings falling down in the home after water has flowed unchecked, causing massive damage and often completely destroying the home's contents.

Swinton is urging homeowners to take some simple steps to reduce the risk of a frozen burst pipe, and to ensure that they have sufficient insurance cover should the worst happen.

Steve Chelton, Insurance Development Manager at Swinton, says; "The flood that can happen within a home due to a burst pipe can be far worse than any flood outside. Every winter, homes are severely damaged and on occasion destroyed by water damage from this occurrence. The cost can be very high if people don't have sufficient home insurance, and in addition, there is the added emotional stress of possessions and home contents being ruined. We strongly urge everyone to be aware of the dangers during the coming cold snap, and prepare accordingly."

The home insurance provider has the following advice for homeowners to help prevent damage from a thawed burst pipe:

  • If you are going away for even a couple of days, turn off your stop cock but leave heating on low
  • Leave central heating on for short periods of time throughout the day or switch to "winter safe" mode
  • Remove the loft hatch from the roof space to allow warm air from main house to enter
  • Open doors to the sink unit to allow warmer air to circulate around the pipes
  • Use only gentle heat, like bottles or towels soaked in warm water, if trying to manually thaw frozen pipes
  • Turn off all outside taps in winter
  • Clear gutters and drains of leaves and blockages.  

 About Swinton

  • With 603 branches nationwide Swinton is the UK's largest high street insurance retailer
  • Unlike many other companies in the financial services industry, Swinton is committed to keeping its branches open for business, and part of the community
  • Swinton provides a one-stop-shop for the insurance and related needs of its clients, offering home, car, caravan, business, holiday, motorbike and even classic car insurance
  • A dedicated team of advisors is on hand at every branch to search a panel of insurers to offer quality cover at competitive rates

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