As well as being very rewarding, owning a holiday home can be a stressful experience at times – especially during the winter. Along with colder weather comes the risk of burst pipes, one of the most costly causes of damage to property a landlord can experience.

As well as having the ultimate back up of a good holiday home insurance policy, there are of course a number of other practical measures that can help reduce the risks of burst pipes.

One of the more innovative measures is the ‘auto flood valve’ or ‘auto shut-off valve’, which has been designed to detect when a burst pipe may have occurred and then shut off the mains water supply in response. This piece of kit will shut off the mains if water has been running continuously for a pre-determined stretch of time – usually between 10 and 40 minutes, depending on what you select.

It will also shut off if the temperature dips below 3 degrees Celsius, or if there is a sudden or unusual demand placed on the water supply. Equally, if no water is used for 24 hours, the water will also be shut off. One of the better known systems is called ‘Floodcheck’.

While such measures can be very convenient, it’s worth remembering that simply shutting off the water manually can be equally effective, so long as you remember to do so at the appropriate times.