The Insurance arm of the Farmers’ Union of Wales is today reminding its customers to be aware of the cost of burst pipes, as the cold weather approaches.

The reminder follows the launch of the ‘Wrap Up Wales’ campaign by D?r Cymru Welsh Water, who say that unprotected water pipes, which could burst after freezing weather conditions , could cost thousands of pounds to repair.

D?r Cymru Welsh Water have said that the problem is usually linked to pipes that are exposed to very low temperatures, such as those in garages, sheds and other outhouses and can of course be found aplenty on farms.

According to the Association of British Insurers (ABI), severe cold weather experienced during the winter of 2010 saw around 3,500 calls a day being made to insurers to report frozen pipes at its peak. An average repair cost for damage caused by bursts pipes can be up to £7,000.

FUW Insurance and D?r Cymru Welsh Water would advise the following to prevent pipes from freezing:

• Make sure you know the location of your stop tap so you can reach it quickly in an emergency (TIP: It's often under the kitchen sink).

• Make sure any exposed pipes are wrapped or lagged.

• Keep an eye out for frozen pipes, bursts or leaks.

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

In the event of pipes freezing the advice issued is:

• Find your internal stop tap and turn it off.

• Turn on nearby cold taps, to allow the water to escape when it thaws.

• Don't turn hot taps on until the central heating is switched off.

• Move things that might be damaged if the pipe bursts when the water thaws.

• Apply a hot water bottle or hot wet towel to a frozen pipe.

• If you notice a leak after thawing, turn off the internal stop tap and call a plumber.

• If you are unsure of anything at any time call a plumber who is registered with the WaterSafe scheme at