Businesses across the North East are being urged to protect their properties and avoid unnecessary costs as the cold temperatures are set to continue.

Northumbrian Water is warning business owners to check that their properties are protected - or else risk the hassle and cost of a burst pipe.


Although the lighter nights are in sight, and we have already seen snow across the region, the risk of pipes freezing or bursting has not gone, and could leave businesses without hot running water.


According to the Association of British Insurers, a burst pipe could cost on average a whopping £8,800 to fix.


Jim Howey, Head of Water Networks at Northumbrian Water said: “All pipework within your business boundary is your responsibility – which means it is absolutely worth protecting it to avoid unnecessary costs.


“It doesn’t matter if you own a farm, a shop or a large-scale office, the risks of a burst pipe still apply, and there are so many easy things that businesses can do to minimise the risks.


“It’s also important for business owners to check their boiler has been serviced, to familiarise themselves with the location of the internal stopcock, and to remember to ensure that all fire systems are adequately protected from freezing.”


With businesses still operating within some ‘working from home’ restrictions, the water company has asked them to make sure their properties are protected, even if they are not in use. 


For example, if a property is going to be unoccupied or un-used for a while, turn off the water at the stopcock and drain the system so there is no water left in the pipes. Also, it is advised that heating is left on low during the colder months.


Northumbrian Water’s Winter Checklist for Businesses:  

  • Check you have a plan for where your pipework is.
  • Have a contact for a local plumber to hand.
  • Have a copy of your insurance documentation.
  • Check you know where your stopcock and any control valves are, so any leaks can be isolated.
  • Check the stopcock and valves are working.
  • Check or add any pipe lagging
  • Check any trace heating or thermostats are working.
  • Check your heating system is serviced and in good working order
  • Isolate and drain down any unused water pipework in unheated or un-used areas.
  • Isolate any outside taps and cover/insulate them and remove all outside hoses.
  • Regularly check your premises and repair any leaks.


For more ways to protect your business, visit