By Chris Attridge
Householders are being urged to prepare for "burst pipes season" as temperatures plunge.
The Met Office has issued its first England-wide Level 3 Cold Weather Alert of the winter, and insurer Allianz Your Cover has raised concerns that many households are wary of leaving their heating on due to high fuel costs.
A poll of 3,000 people by the insurer revealed 51 per cent of respondents are less less likely to leave their heating on overnight or while they are out due to the current economic climate.
And one in four homes have no protective lagging around their pipes.
Some 49 per cent said they would know how to deal with a burst pipe, while 22 per cent were unaware where the stopcock is in their home.
Allianz Your Cover's Andy James said: "Water escaping from frozen pipes can cause extensive and expensive damage and it can take a long while for a property to dry out before it can be repaired."