The UK has been struggling in sub-zero conditions after the coldest night of the winter.

The mercury fell to minus 12.9C in Braemar, Aberdeenshire, and the Met Office has issued warnings for snow, ice and fog on Thursday and Friday.

Various organisations have provided advice for keeping safe at home and on the road during the cold snap.

– How to de-ice car windows

The RAC advises that clearing a windscreen of ice or snow should take about 10 minutes using a scraper or de-icer spray.

Drivers should avoid using boiling water to clear snow and ice. The thermal shock from 100C water can cause windows to crack, the breakdown firm says.

Winter weather Jan 29th 2019Clearing a car should take about 10 minutes (PA)

– How to defrost pipes  

Frozen pipes can limit the water supply to homes and businesses. If your pipes do freeze, Thames Water recommends turning off the stop tap then running cold water taps to help the water escape as it begins to thaw.

A hot water bottle wrapped in a tea towel placed next to frozen pipes can help speed up the thawing process.

– How to clear a path

The Government suggests using salt to clear paths or pavements, and doing so early in the day, as fresh snow is easier to move. If salt is unavailable, ash and sand will also work and provide grip underfoot.

Water should not be used, as it can refreeze and turn into black ice.

Winter weather Jan 30th 2019Icy paths should be cleared early in the day (PA)

– What to keep in a car 

The AA has a checklist of essential items drivers should keep in their cars during the winter.

A blanket, a shovel, de-icer and a torch should all be carried in the winter months. In the event of severe weather, the AA also recommends carrying winter clothing, such as a hat, scarf and gloves, sturdy footwear and a flask of hot drink.