As temperatures dip, the AA is urging homeowners to carry out some preventive measures to ensure their home is as protected as possible from freezing weather.
Tom Stringer, head of the AA’s Home Emergency Response Service, said: “Although we can’t control the weather, there are a few simple things we can do to help prevent emergencies around the home.
“The first thing we’ll miss in this weather is our heating. By keeping your heating on a constant, low temperature throughout the day you could reduce the chance of your boiler breaking down. If you’re going away it’s a good idea to leave your loft hatch open to allow the warm air to circulate.
“If the pipes in your loft or any other exposed areas are not insulated, they can freeze really quickly in sub-zero temperatures. It’s definitely worth getting up there and checking that the insulation is adequate and in place – a tiny gap can still cause that section of pipe to freeze, particularly if it’s in a draft. If you do get any frozen pipes it’s best to thaw them out gently using hot water bottles or a hairdryer.
“If you don’t know where your main internal stopcock is, it’s a good idea to find it in case you have a burst pipe and need to stop the flow of water. It’s usually under your kitchen sink or where the service pipe enters the building.”