Landlords should protect property against burst pipes or possibly face thousands of pounds of damage, according to Axa Home Insurance.

A OnePoll survey of 2,000 Britons in November found that a third of people will be away from home over the Christmas period, but only 8 per cent worry about burst pipes, Axa claims.

This is despite the fact that one in every 1,000 homes suffered a burst pipe last January and had to claim an average of £15,000 due to water damage, says Axa.

Nick Kidd, head of home insurance at the company, said last year's damage was due to a sharp drop in temperatures.

The insurer's advice to landlords for avoiding burst pipes includes leaving heating on at 12 degrees C to stop water freezing inside pipes and leaving cabinet doors open to allow warmer air to circulate.

Landlords should also ensure that any holes are sealed around items such as computer cables where cold air can creep in, says Axa.

The Met Office announced on November 27th a 20 per cent chance of UK temperatures below 3.4 degrees C this winter.

Written by John WeeksADNFCR-2002-ID-19501882-ADNFCR

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