GLOUCESTERSHIRE householders are being warned of the danger of trying to defrost frozen pipes with blow torches.

The warning from Gloucestershire Fire & Rescue Service ollows a sharp rise in the number of calls to tackle incidents related to frozen plumbing/.

During the current “Big Freeze” firefighters responded to nine separate incidents caused by frozen pipes in just 24 hours, to deal with flooding and major damage to homes.

Now the service is urging people to get their pipes insulated.

GFRS station manager Andy Gillingham of the county community safety team said: “We have seen a big increase in calls to the Fire & Rescue Service since temperatures dropped below zero. Most calls are flooding related, with pipes bursting in lofts that aren’t properly insulated.

“This is a warning of how dangerous frozen pipes can be and a timely reminder for people to insulate their pipes thoroughly.

“The risk isn’t just from flooding your house when a pipe bursts, but there is also a risk of fire if you try to defrost pipes yourself. In previous years we’ve had incidences where people have tried to defrost pipes with heat guns or blow torches – causing fire as well as flood. This can have a devastating effect on your home.”

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