IT’S not long until Christmas and many of us will be preoccupied with last-minute gift buying, making sure the food has been ordered and finalising plans to meet friends and relatives over the festive period.

You may have already watched a Christmas film or two, showing delightful scenes of snow falling.

However, this might look great on screen, but in reality snowy, wintery weather can cause many challenges.

By just taking a few simple precautions, many major problems can be avoided.

Falling temperatures can often result in frozen and burst pipes.

A small fracture can release gallons of water which can cause much damage to a property and its contents.

If you are planning on being away from home for some time over the festive season it is advisable to drain down and shut off the water systems in your home.

If you do suffer from burst pipes your insurance provider will usually offer a trace and access assistance to locate the leak and address the damage arising from the escape of water, so always ensure you have their contact number to hand.

Entertaining at home? As a property owner you will also have a duty of care towards visitors and reasonable steps should be taken to clear a path to remove standing accumulations of snow and ice to prevent any incidents.

And finally, if Father Christmas has been generous, it is recommended to check your contents insurance sums insured, to ensure any new technology, jewellery, bikes etc are suitably covered.

Craig Halliday is Claims Manager at D E Ford Insurance Brokers in York, providing bespoke insurance solutions to protect businesses and charitable organisations.

To get in touch for advice or help, contact D E Ford Insurance Brokers, Poppleton Rd, Low Poppleton Lane, York YO26 6GZ, on 01904 784141.