Get details of an emergency plumber before you need one in a panic. That way, you can be sure of qualifications and potential call-out costs. Which? has a Trusted Trader scheme.
Inform home insurers immediately after a burst pipe. A bad leak will not just bring down ceilings – it might also lead to rot if untreated. Some insurers have 24-hour help lines and will send an emergency plumber.
If you are going to be away for a substantial time – a holiday for instance – turn off the water and drain the system before leaving. For shorter periods, leaving a cold tap dripping can help as ice-ups are unlikely in flowing water.
Those living in houses turned into flats (and some purpose built flats) need to know about the water system and whose responsibility it is.
Don’t neglect the boiler – it won’t ice up but if it stops working, the whole property could freeze.
You can always ignore weather warnings and cold snap advice because they have been wrong in the past – but are you willing to risk that they are wrong this time around?