Winter Closing Down Requirements: Remember, Remember 1st November!

If you’re planning a winter holiday, short break or staying with friends or family over the Christmas period, it’s important to remember the winter closing down requirements. It is a condition of your park home insurance policy that you follow the closing down requirements if you leave your park home unoccupied for a period of more than 48 hours between 1st November and 31st March (both days inclusive).

This is because frost damage and escape of water can cause serious damage to your park home in the cold winter months, if it is unoccupied. ‘Escape of water’ is the insurance industry term for damage that is cause by an internal water source. This differs from a ‘flood’, which is caused by an external water source, such as a river bursting its banks.

Water expands when it freezes, so if water is trapped in pipes and freezes, it has nowhere to go. This can cause the pipes to crack and when the water thaws out again, the water can escape. If this is connected to a mains water source, it can cause extensive damage to the fabric of your park home and your possessions.

Taking these precautions not only ensures that you don’t invalidate your insurance, but can also reduce the risk of experiencing a very distressing situation.

Winter closing down requirements: the details

Between 1st November and 31st March (both days inclusive) if the park home is left without an occupant for more than 48 hours you must drain the entire water system as a precaution to prevent freezing and any potential damage that may occur.

If your park home has a sealed heating system containing antifreeze then this does not need to be drained but antifreeze levels must be checked annually and particularly prior to the period of unoccupancy. (If you are a Park Home Assist policyholder then please refer to ‘Draining your water system for winter unoccupancy’ on page 7 of our policy document.)

In addition all water tanks must be emptied by leaving both hot and cold taps fully open with plugs removed throughout the park home.

Alternatively, if you wish to leave the water supply turned on between 1st November and 31st March (both days inclusive) you must ensure:

The entire home benefits from a gas, oil-fired, geothermal or full electric central heating system (not night storage heaters) fitted with automatic controls and a separate thermostat. The system must be set to operate continuously for 24 hours of each day (not controlled by a timing device) and the thermostat set to not less than 13 Celsius, and all internal doors must remain open throughout the park home and, where fitted, the loft hatch left open.


If the heating system as described above is installed and additionally fitted with a ‘frost stat’ that is designed and installed to override all the heating controls, irrespective of their functional status, then this may be set to operate at no less than 4 Celsius. In addition, turn off the water supply.

These terms apply if your park home is unoccupied. Of course, you may decide to have someone to stay in your park home while you’re away, especially if you have pets that need looking after. For more information about leaving your home unoccupied for any length of time during the year, see general insurance tips and advice.

Please note that all park home insurance cover is subject to acceptance of terms and conditions.

This is a marketing article from Park Home Assist, multi award-winning providers of residential park home insurance.  If you would like to speak to an advisor regarding insurance for your park home, please contact our friendly team in our Northampton office on 01604 946 796.

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Published – 28/10/2022.