Now that winter’s here, everyone needs advice to protect their property from burst pipes and flooding – even Santa Claus!

NI Water and Glengormley based ABC Estate Agents have co-operated to encourage property owners and tenants, whether or not they reside at the North Pole, to ‘Beat the Freeze’ and avoid festive fear should severe winter weather occur this year.

The ‘Beat the Freeze’ campaign, now in its fourth year, reinforces the call to check that homes and businesses are prepared for cold conditions in the event of severe winter weather.  Customers can take simple steps to protect their pipes by checking all pipes have been lagged and ensuring that that lagging is secure.

Graham Barton, Estate Agent at ABC Estate Agents, commented:

‘‘There is no guarantee that this winter will not see a major downturn in temperatures, leading to a loss of water supply.  We encourage everyone to take steps to protect their water pipes, as any pipes inside a property boundary are the responsibility of the property owner.  NI Water’s ‘Beat the Freeze’ leaflet and a supply of branded stop-valve tags, are available from our office in Glengormley, and we encourage everyone – even Santa Claus – to take action.’’

The advertising campaign will be rolled out through various media outlets including TV, radio, print and billboards.  More information is available by logging on to




All media enquiries to NI Water Press Office on 028 9035 4757 or email

Notes to Editors:

• The attached image features Graham Barton and ABC Estate Agents, Glengormley (l) and Graeme Smyth of NI Water (r) promoting the ‘Beat the Freeze’ message.

• Further information on the ‘Beat the Freeze’ campaign can be found by logging on to

NI Water’s top tips for avoiding frozen pipes include:

1. Insulate water tanks and pipes in unheated areas like lofts, garages and outbuildings;

2. Fix dripping taps – a gentle trickle of water can freeze and completely block the pipe;

3. Keep your boiler well serviced to ensure your house is heated;

4. If you are away from home during the winter period, open the trap door into the roof space to allow some of the warm air to circulate;

5. If you are away from home you could leave a key with someone who can check the house regularly

6. Know where your stop valve is in the case of an emergency - it is normally situated under the kitchen sink;

7. DO NOT run your tap to avoid a frozen pipe; a running tap can waste up to 3,000 gallons of water per day;

8. Write down the contact details of a registered plumber in case a pipe does burst.

In January 2011, a single burst pipe in a vacant business property lost over 30 million litres of water.  This was enough to:

• Supply a family of 4 with water for 137 years

• Fill 15 million kettles

• Make 120 million cups of tea

• You could have 375,000 baths

• You could have 850,000 showers

• Flush a toilet about 3,000,000 times