Five Questions About: Coping with the big freeze


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The Independent Online

What dangers does winter weather bring?

A cold snap can have its advantages. After all, it's always nice to wake up to a white Christmas.

However, freezing temperatures can also cause domestic disasters and road accidents.

Fortunately, there are ways to reduce the chances of one of these cold weather-related incidents affecting you.

How can I protect my home?

Every winter, insurers receive thousands of claims for burst pipes, which can easily cause flood damage.

To ensure your pipes don't freeze, keep the central heating between 12c and 15c – even if you are away.

Other top tips include insulating more exposed pipes, leaving the loft hatch door open to allow warmer air to reach the cold tank and turning off the water supply to outside taps.

What about outside my home?

To prevent nasty falls, it is a good idea to pay particular attention to slopes and steps. When clearing snow and use salt to melt any ice underneath.

How can I reduce the risk of being in a car crash?

AXA Insurance predicts some 56,000 drivers could be involved in an accident this festive season – especially if there is snow. However, leave early to make journeys as stress-free as possible.

Any other tips?

While it is tempting to leave your car engine running to warm up while you get ready when temperatures are low, you may regret it as thieves are always looking for an easy target. And with most insurers refusing to cover thefts in which the keys were left in the ignition, you could end up with no car at all.

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