London Fire Brigade

Brigade attend a high number of burst water pipes due to the freezing conditions

02 December 2010

New figures today revealed that flooding incidents have increased by 150 per cent in London due to frozen pipes bursting in the coldest start to a winter since records began. Firefighters attended 163 flooding incidents in the last four days of November, a massive increase on 2007 and 2008 figures of the same period.

Last year saw the figure rise to just over 100 but this was largely due to heavy rainfall. Figures this year are up because of frozen water pipes. A situation likely to get worse when the thaw hits on Sunday, with temperatures expected to reach 4C as the frozen pipes expand and then burst.
The Brigade is reminding Londoners to ensure that their pipes are properly lagged, in order to reduce the risk of flooding caused by frozen pipes.

Between November 2009 - February 2010, firefighters in the capital attended 2274 floods in people’s homes. There were over 150 domestic flooding incidents on 7 January 2010 alone, which was one of the coldest days of last winter. 

Dave Brown, Assistant Commissioner for the Brigade’s Operations and Mobilising Department said:
“London Fire Brigade is taking every possible precaution to ensure we are prepared to deal with emergencies across the capital during the cold weather.

“If people take simple but effective steps to protect themselves from the cold snap it could mean the difference between either their life being put at risk or their home becoming flooded.”

Plumbing and issues with water pipes should always be reported to a plumber in the first instance and to only call 999 in an emergency.


Notes to editors

Figures have been taken from 27,28,29 and 30 November in 2007,8,9 and 10.

London Fire Brigade has deployed water rescue capability across the capital. The extra equipment includes emergency rescue boats, inflatable rescue paths, mud lances, thermal clothing and dry suits.

For more information on London Fire Brigade’s emergency planning role see:

For more information on home fire safety go to

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