Residents urged to get ready for winter

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DAMAGE done to homes by the winter weather cost Portsmouth residents £1,635 last year, according to research by an insurance company.

Nearly one in eight homes in the city have been damaged by severe winter weather in the past five years.

According to Direct Line’s insurance, despite the potentially huge cost of damage, less than 49 per cent of households in Portsmouth have had their boiler serviced, with just over a third clearing their gutters and around a fifth lagging their pipes.

Katie Lomas, head of Direct Line home insurance, said: ‘It is important to plan ahead and make sure your home is properly protected from the winter weather.

‘During the colder months, leave the heating on at approximately 15 degrees on the thermostat to avoid cold-related property issues.

‘Find out now where your stopcock is and know how to turn off the water supply in event of an emergency.

‘You really don’t want to be looking for it when water is coming through the ceiling if a pipe bursts in the cold.’