Water company urges South Lakeland business owners to 'get lagging'

WATER bosses are urging business owners in South Lakeland to get lagging - and avoid the misery of mopping up a wet and washed-out new year.

Every year many small businesses shut up shop as festive temperatures plunge, only to find themselves returning to work with a flood of water rather than a flood of customers.

Water company United Utilities said frozen and burst pipes caused misery to many people, with the potential to hit businesses in the pocket.

“We are using our Winter Wise campaign to help our business customers stay flood-free this Christmas and New Year. For just a few pounds spent on lagging pipes, you could save yourself a lot of heartache," explained United Utilities’ Stuart Atkinson.

"Shops and other properties left empty over holidays or even short periods of very cold weather can be at risk if the weather turns cold. Once the water in your pipes turns to ice it can cause a burst, and you might not know until the day you get back to work.

“It can be a heart-breaking situation, as often the pipes belong to the business themselves, or a landlord, and all we can do is offer advice. We want to let people know in advance how easy it is to protect themselves," he said.

He said the best way to avoid the headache of ruined equipment and lost custom is to insulate pipes and, if temperatures really drop, leave the heating on a low setting.

United Utilities’ other top tips are finding and labelling the stop tap and having a plan in case the worst happens, including the number of a good plumber.

"Keep an eye on the temperature over the festive break and check your premises on a regular basis. If your taps aren't running, it could mean your pipes are frozen and that's the first sign that you might have a burst. Switch your stop tap off and have the number of a good plumber to hand," said Stuart.

For more information, including what to do in an emergency and videos showing how to find your stop tap or defrost a pipe safely, visit unitedutilities.com/winterwise

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