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Risk of pipes bursting after thaw

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With persistent snow melting across the country following the big chill, residents have been urged to be wary of an increase in the chance of pipes bursting this week.

Severn Trent Water has assembled a team of workers to take care of the expected rise in the number of burst pipes.

However, the firm, which has over eight million customers across the UK, has urged people only to call and report such incidences of bursts and leaks if they are outside their houses and not inside.

Fraser Pithie, senior operations manager, said: "As the ice melts, and the ground warms up, it's inevitable we're going to see more burst pipes and water leaks. We need your help in spotting the bursts, so we can do our best to get them fixed.

"Empty premises can be vulnerable as unprotected pipes under floorboards, in unoccupied premises and in outbuildings are most likely to see bursts.

"Now's the time to check that all is well, and if there are problems with damaged pipework, get these dealt with now. It could save you a lot of time, money and upset.

"If your pipes have been or still are frozen up, then it's good to get ready now. Find the stop tap (typically under the kitchen sink or in the bathroom), and check you can turn it off.

"Make sure you have the number of a plumber at hand, or someone you trust with good DIY skills, so that you are ready to get the necessary repair work done."

© Press Association 2010