Over the next few days, freezing temperatures are expected across Britain, bringing the risk of property damage in some areas.Burst pipes can cause damage worth up to £100,000, but by taking a few precautions you could substantially reduce the likelihood of damage to your home and belongings.During freezing weather, follow these simple precautions:

Leave the loft hatch open, as allowing warmer air to reach the loft can stop the cold tank from freezing.

Turn off the water supply to outside taps. Leave the outside tap open to drain out any water left in the pipes.

Find your main stopcock and make sure you can turn it off.

Keep the central heating on at a minimum of 14C to allow warm air to reach the pipes (even if you go away).

It’s a good idea to ask someone to check your home if you’re going to be away, as they can spot problems early and minimise any damage.

If your pipes freeze:

Turn water off at the main stopcock to reduce the amount of water that can escape and damage your home.

To thaw out frozen pipes, carefully use a hairdryer (if safe to do so) or use a hot water bottle tied to the pipes with a towel. You should start from the end nearest the tap.

Never use a naked flame, such as a blowtorch or heat gun, to thaw your pipes as this could cause serious damage.

If you’ve found a leak, put something underneath to collect the water.

Switch off your central heating. Open all taps to drain the system.

We recommend you keep checking for weather warnings in your area.By taking these steps, hopefully you can avoid any unwanted disruption to your home this winter.