Elf and safety advice

Santa may spend most of his time wrapping presents but this year United Utilities has enlisted his help as a different kind of rap artist – to give homeowners valuable winter advice.

The North West water company has produced a tongue-in-cheek pop video which spoofs the Vanilla Ice classic “Ice Ice Baby” as part of its Winter Wise campaign.

Ice Wise Baby sees Santa and his elves rap their way through tips on how homeowners can protect their water pipes from freezing and bursting this Christmas.

Santa warns: “Winter, you know it ain’t no joke, get a frozen pipe you gonna end up broke”. The advice follows research among United Utilities customers which revealed that a third would not be able to afford an emergency plumber if a burst occurred this winter.

The video also encourages homeowners to lag their pipes to prevent disaster, and to learn how turn off their water supply using the stop tap, in the event of a burst pipe.

Sally Ainsworth, United Utilities’ head of customer experience said: “We hope our novelty video will raise a smile this Christmas, while delivering some top tips to keep pipes freeze-free.

“With the average repair bill for a frozen or burst household pipe totalling more than £500, it’s a cost that few households can afford this winter. Thankfully, it’s really easy to protect your pipes. In fact, our rapping Santa has all the advice a household needs!”

Research from United Utilities reveals that homeowners need to take note of the rapping Santa’s words because:

  • A third of families could not afford a burst pipe this winter, while one in fifty would have to cancel Christmas.
  • More than a third never check their homes or garages to see if pipes need lagging. If they did, less than half would know how to actually do it.
  • One in five wouldn’t know how to turn their water off if they had a burst pipe.
  • A quarter don’t know what a stop tap (sometimes called a stop cock) is. One in 40 young people (aged 16 – 25) think a stop cock is an item of protective clothing for sport.
  • More than half don’t know if their household insurance covers plumbing emergencies/damage.