Coping with winter weather

Snow-covered landscapeFreezing temperatures do not only make leaving the house in the morning less appealing, they are also often the cause of domestic disasters, treacherous tumbles and road accidents.

Fortunately, AOL Money is here with some great advice to help reduce the chances of one of these cold weather-related incidents affecting you this winter.

Your home
Every winter, insurers receive thousands of claims for burst pipes, which can easily cause damage worth up to £10,000.

To ensure that your pipes do not freeze over the next few months, it is therefore a good idea to keep the central heating at a constant minimum of between 12c and 15c – even if you are away from home.

It is also sensible to insulate any more exposed pipes and turn off the water supply to outside taps if you do head off on holiday.

Having the number of a reputable plumber to hand can also help to limit the pain should the worst happen.

Your garden/drive
Recently fallen snow is easier to clear, so it is worth doing this as quickly as possible if you wake up to a winter wonderland.

And to prevent any of your loved ones having a nasty fall outside your home, it is a good idea to pay particular attention to slopes and steps when clearing snow. You should also use salt to melt any ice underneath.

Your car
According to figures from AXA Insurance, some 50,000 drivers are involved in accidents during the festive season alone each winter. And the number of incidents shoots up if there is snow on the roads.

When snow hit in December 2010, for example, road accidents jumped by an incredible 124%. If the weather is bad, it is therefore sensible to avoid taking the car out unless absolutely necessary and to moderate your speed accordingly.

If you do head out, meanwhile, avoid leaving your car engine on to warm up while you get ready as opportunistic thieves are always on the lookout for an easy target.

As most insurers refusing to cover thefts in which the keys were left in the ignition, you could therefore end up with no car at all.
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