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Advice for winter weather at home and in the car

25th November 2010 Print

As snow and ice falls on parts of Britain with more forecast, insurer MORE TH>N is offering the following advice on surviving the cold.

At home

Leave your central heating running, not on a timer, but at a constant temperature (the coldest time is between 1am and 3am). If possible, leave it running in all rooms.

If you know you're going to be away, either leave the heating on, or drain your water and heating systems. If you have a property that is unoccupied, drain the system. To do this, turn off the stopcock, shut down the boiler and open all taps. If you're unsure about the central heating, speak to a plumber.

Remember to leave your insurance details with a friend or neighbour.

Check the lagging on your pipes and water tank - pay a visit to the loft if you have one. If you have enough constant heating in the house, it will prevent the water tank from freezing. The most likely effect of the sub-zero temperatures in the home will be frozen pipes and water tanks.

Bring pets indoors and if you have fish in a pond, leave something floating in the middle of your pond - i.e. a ball - to prevent it freezing over. When you want to get air to them, lift up the ball.

Keep a supply of batteries, torches and provisions to hand.

If your home loses power - keep the freezer door shut.

All MORE TH>N customers have access to a free-phone 24-hour helpline as part of their standard home insurance policy. In the event of a household emergency, customers can contact an adviser 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

Pete Markey, spokesperson for MORE TH>N comments: "We are prepared for the latest cold front with many of our staff ready to help out in affected areas and customers can rest assured that should the worst happen, we are here to help them around the clock."

In the car

Cold weather can play havoc with cars, so motorists should only travel when necessary. If you are making a trip MORE TH>N's advice should help you stay safe during freezing weather conditions:

Check anti-freeze levels and carry de-icer in case the locks freeze;

For cars that are not being used that often ensure you regularly turn the engine over and keep it running to so the battery stays energised;

If warming your car up, don't leave it unattended with the keys in the ignition. Many cars are stolen this way by opportunist thieves each year;

During cold weather it is especially important to check tyre, battery and wiper blade condition. Make sure the lights are fully functioning and double check oil and fuel levels before setting off;

Keep a warm coat or blanket in the car in case of a breakdown, to keep warm by the roadside, as well as some emergency supplies such as some chocolate or a hot drink;

Take your breakdown telephone help-line number and mobile phone with you on all journeys;

It is also useful to keep a torch, ice scraper - and in extreme weather conditions -wellington boots and a shovel in your car.

Everyone affected by the extreme weather circumstances should keep a close watch for further weather warnings, and heed the advice of the emergency services.

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