Martin Lewis warns everyone that they need to check homes now to prevent winter leak damage

MARTIN Lewis has warned Brits to check their homes ahead of the winter weather to avoid extra costs.

The money saving expert took to TikTok to ask everyone to find where their stopcock is located.

Martin said: "If you don't know what a stopcock is, it's the main water off switch to your whole house.

"Understanding how you can quickly shut off the water is important and many people don't know where their mains water off switch, or stopcock, is."

When temperatures drop this can lead to frozen pipes in your home which can then burst.

Frozen pipes can lead to water leaks which can cause "hundreds of thousands of pounds worth of damage" Martin explained.

It could mean you need to make a home insurance claim, he said, while some people might not even have home insurance.

The average cost of weather related insurance claims for burst pipes is £10,00 on average, according to the Association for British Insurers (ABI).

If your pipes freeze the industry body recommends turning the water mains off immediately – via the stopcock.

You should wait for the pipes to warm up, or you can try and thaw them with a hot water bottle.

You should move any furniture clothing or other items away form the area affected.

If your pipes burst you should turn off the stopcock too, and switch off your central heating and anything else that uses the mains water.

Open all the taps to drain the system, the ABI recommends, and again you'll want to move your possessions out the way to avoid damage as much as possible.

Martin says that your stopcock will usually be located under the kitchen sink where you'll see a handle, or in a cupboard next to the bathroom.

You should contact your insurer straight away and many have 24-hour helplines.

But it could be located outside, and anyone living in flats may have a shared water off switch, he said.

"It's always worth knowing where yours is. Go find it now," he added.

You can watch Martin's full video on TikTok here and check out Money Saving Expert's guide to locating your stopcock.

Drivers have been warned to remember five things NOT to leave in their cars this winter to stay safe.

Last year Aldi shoppers praised the supermarket’s £3 gadget that stops outdoor taps freezing over.

Here's nine things you should do to protect your home from floods.


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