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Dealing with common winter damage to your home

If your pipes freeze, turn off the stop valve immediately, open all cold taps to drain the system, but don't turn on hot taps - your hot water cylinder may collapse if the pipes leading to it are frozen. Call a licensed plumber if you are in any doubt about what to do.

Never attempt to thaw out frozen pipes by switching on your immersion heater or central heating boiler. Instead, check for leaking joints or bursts in the pipes. Then gently heat any frozen sections with a hairdryer or a heated cloth wrapped around the pipe. Never apply a direct flame.

Visit the Scottish Water website for further advice on burst and frozen pipes.

Be aware that snow and ice could fall from roofs suddenly. Be prepared - don't park your car, bikes or garden furniture in its path. Contact your household insurer if snow or ice has caused damage to the fabric of your property.

If you need to evacuate (and if it's safe and time permits) turn off the water and electricity, grab your emergency kit, and secure your premises.