How can escape of water risks be mitigated?

How can escape of water risks be mitigated?


Escape of water is one of the most significant risks that many property owners will face – with insurers paying out £2.5m every day for these types of claims. According to the ABI, 21% of all property insurance claims were caused by water in 2014, ABI Key Facts Report 2015.

Escape of water can present many complications, however if the risk is managed the damage could limit the problem for building owners, occupiers and managers.

There are a range of influencing factors that could cause an escape of water:

  • Contemporary Lifestyles – with people upgrading their properties with increasing the number of showers and toilets it means that there are increased water hazards. Additionally, older properties with corroding pipes are a risk and should be replaced to limit the escape of water risk.
  • Consumer Climate – Escape of water may occur in winter when a frozen pipe is left un-lagged and bursts when the water starts to thaw. The implications can be extensive, with damage to the surrounding walls, floors and furniture all possible.
  • Construction and workmanship – Poor construction in a building can heighten the risk of escape of water and includes incorrect installation of modern plumbing methods and the failure of joints in pipework.

How can escape of water risks be mitigated?

It is important to understand how you can minimise your escape of water risk. Ways in which this can be done are to:

  • Ensure regular inspections are carried out on cold water tanks and pipework
  • Inspect and maintain sealant around showers
  • Repair dripping taps as soon as possible
  • Check for dripping or leaking overflows
  • Be aware that if heating fails, this may be due to freezing pipes
  • Quickly isolate appliances if leaking
  • Be aware and do not ignore signs of water leaks
  • Ensure emergency call out numbers are available

Devices to minimise escape of water risks

The use of technological devices such as a remote meter reading and leak warning devices can provide useful assistance in identifying water leaks in a supply system. They have the ability to analyse water consumption and recognise abnormal usage trends, facilitating an early warning of water leaks.

In addition to this, devices can be designed for individual buildings and linked to a smartphone to enable a notification if a leak occurs when the property is unoccupied. Some devices also have the ability to cut off the water supply automatically.

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