London’s pipes at breaking point in Arctic conditions

FLOODING incidents have increased by 150 per cent in London due to frozen pipes bursting in the coldest ‘Arctic’ start to a winter since records began.

Fire crews were called out 163 times between Saturday and Tuesday, figures out today reveal.

It represents a 50 per cent increase on the same period in 2009, according to the London Fire Brigade.

Last year saw the figure rise to 100, but largely due to heavy rainfall. Figures this year have shot up because of frozen water pipes.

The situation likely to get worse when the thaw hits on Sunday, with temperatures expected to reach 4C as frozen pipes expand and then crack, the Brigade warns.

Operations Assistant Commissioner Dave Brown said: “People should take simple but effective steps to protect from the cold snap, which could mean the difference between either their life being put at risk or their home becoming flooded.”

Last winter’s ‘chilling’ statistics showed firefighters called out to 2,274 floods in people’s homes, with 150 domestic floodings on January 7 alone, one of the coldest days of 2010.