Look out for the risks of winter ahead

Look out for the risks of winter ahead

In the last few weeks, energy bills across the UK have been increasing after a variety of different providers upped their tariffs once more with winter looming once again.

Over the past few days, this has even worsened, with Confused.com reporting that there could be many people across the UK adversely affected by the end of their fixed-price tariffs in the coming weeks, which could lead to many paying as much as £210 per more. This happens because failure to act when a fixed price comes to an end will see many automatically changed onto a firm's most expensive tariff.

However, this could not come at a worse time of year, with increases likely to have an effect on spending overall, with many cutting what they are using in terms of energy to bring their bills down. With winter set to take hold over the next few months though, this could be bad news for you as property owners.

According to Axa, for example, many Brits are forgetting the harsh lessons taught by winter two years ago, when the cold weather saw a raft of homes facing insurance claims three times higher than burglary cases because they had burst pipes in the home as a result of the cold.

This saw the number of you who were taking the step of leaving heating on through the cold months to alleviate the risk rising to 46 per cent in 2011 from 39 per cent a year earlier. This has, however, dropped again to sit at 42 per cent, with only 20 per cent asking their neighbours to check that their house is okay when they are off on a winter holiday.

So just how are you looking to make sure your house is looking in good health this winter and avoiding the risk of burst pipes? Follow this advice to make sure your home is safe.

As well as leaving the heating on low throughout the times when you are away, it can be a useful idea to lift your loft hatch and leave it open. This can allow the heat from downstairs to circulate and keep pipes from freezing over in your attic.

Elsewhere, adding protective insulating sleeves to any exposed pipes can help to keep them warm. This will allow water to flow through them without the risk of them freezing and bursting.

It can also be ideal to use draught excluders to keep the wind chill factor out of the property, as this will be a way that you could see severe danger for your property and the pipes running through it.

Christine Matthews, head of household claims at Axa, said: "Even in a generally milder winter, tens of thousands of people will experience the misery of returning to a home damaged by water from a burst pipe if they are caught out by a cold snap. 

"Protecting your home from damage is really very simple and can save the heartache of having your home and precious contents destroyed by water."ADNFCR-1222-ID-801499778-ADNFCR

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