With temperatures plummeting to as low as -7 degrees in West Dunbartonshire last winter, experts are urging residents to take action to avoid burst pipes this year.

Scottish Water (SW) has launched its ‘Be Winter Wise’ campaign which shares simple steps to save water, money and protect homes.

Indeed, it comes after the public body reported a huge surge in 2022 of burst pipes due to rapid thaw.

This resulted in millions of pounds worth of damage across the country and an extra 250 million litres of water a day pumped into the network.

Brian Lironi, director of corporate affairs at SW, said: “If last winter is anything to go by, homeowners, landlords and businesses around the country need to take early action to protect their properties and their pockets this year.

“Something as simple as insulating pipes can have a positive impact on safeguarding homes and workplaces.

“Reducing the amount of hot water you use, like taking two minutes off your shower, can also help save money too.

“We’re hoping the launch of our six crucial tips and tricks will put Scotland’s properties in a better place as the days get considerably colder.”

The six tips are as follows:

1. Protect your pipes: When temperatures fall below zero, water in pipes expands as it freezes. It then contracts as the temperature rises, which can cause pipes to crack or burst. Insulating pipes and water tanks is one of the simplest and cheapest things that can be done to help protect properties from the cold.

2. Locate your stop valve: If pipes do freeze or burst, you must find and turn off your stop valve immediately. It is often under a sink or near the hot water system. If in doubt, check with a local, licensed plumber.

3. Warm yourself, not the room: Stay cosy with hot water bottles and drinks, but only boil what you need - a full mug boils faster than a full kettle.

4. Save on energy bills: Shorter showers can reduce energy bills and save water, which is a win for you and our planet. Try taking just two minutes off your shower and save up to £130 off your annual energy bill (this figure is based on an average family of four).

5. Avoid blocks and floods: Stovies, soups and stews are great winter warmers for this time of year. But don’t pour fats, oils or grease down the sink – when they cool, they congeal and cause blockages in your pipes, which could lead to flooding. Why not make your own ‘gunk pot’. Find out how HERE.

6. Save water and money: Using a dishwasher or washing machine on its eco setting can save you money on energy and save water – which is good for the planet. Washing full loads make sense too, getting your money’s worth out of each cycle.

SW will be visiting communities as part of a winter roadshow, giving in-person advice to customers.