The ice came, it thawed - but it did not conquer ... thanks to fire heroes

FIRE crews have been inundated with calls after the big thaw led to burst pipes and flooded properties.

In the week following Christmas Eve, fire officers from the Kirkintilloch station responded to 16 incidents of flooding, as well as several other call-outs to properties where burst pipes had set alarms off.

A spokesperson said: "One of our biggest problems has been locating the toby, to turn the mains water off, under thick ice and snow on the pavement.

"It's been hard work - especially when we got a call-out at 4am on Boxing Day.

"It eased off towards the end of the week. Hopefully that will be the last we'll see of the snow and ice for a while."

Crews at Bishopbriggs Fire Station were also working around the clock, with eight flooding call-outs since December 24.

A spokesperson told the Herald: "We don't just go out to do a plumbing job, although we will do our best to stop severe flooding.

"We attend incidents where there is a risk with electricity which could lead to a fire."

Both fire crews have also had to break into vacant upper flats to deal with burst pipes which have flooded ground floor properties.

Residents have been warned to take a few precautions to mimimise the risk of flooding next time the temperatures drop - ensuring pipes are suitably insulated and leaving central heating systems on a low setting when away from home.

Should the worst happen, knowing where your water stopcock and toby are can minimise damage, while commercial premises should register keyholder details with the police.