BRITS have been urged to protect their homes this winter to avoid floods and water damage as the temperature plummets.
Experts said customers should take immediate action to make sure their pipes don't burst due to the cold.
The UK has already been battered by two storms this year and temperatures are set to drop, with frost gripping the country by Christmas.
It comes as new research by Water UK shows 33% of the UK public wouldn't be able to find their stop gap in an emergency.
That's the small tap on a pipe that cuts off the water supply to prevent flooding.
Nearly a quarter don't take any recommended measures to protect their pipes and get their boilers services less than once a year.
This leaves homes vulnerable to flooding and water damage due to "freeze thaw", which is when pipes crack as the water freezes and then melts rapidly.
But there are steps you can take to protect your pipes and avoid expensive damage to your home.
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That includes lagging your pipes, servicing your boiler regularly and clearing out your gutters.
The Sun spoke to Pimlico Plumbers worker Phoebe Brooks who shared her top tips for avoiding your pipes freezing.
One of the most important steps is to protect your pipes from plummeting temperatures by keeping them insulated.
You can buy insulation materials to wrap around your pipes yourself – it's stocked at most DIY stores.
Another suggestion is to regularly turn your taps on while you're at home.
If you go away over the winter, consider leaving your heating on low so your pipes don't get too cold.
Don't forget about hidden pipes that you might not see all the time, as they're more likely to be in colder spots such as outside or in the loft.
Will Lang, head of civil contingencies at the Met Office said: “Whatever the outlook for winter each year, there can always be periods of warmer or colder weather as well as wetter and drier weather.
"This variability makes it really important to take some simple steps to prepare our homes and businesses for whatever the weather may bring so we don’t get caught out."
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