With Christmas less than 8 weeks’ away and reports of imminent bad weather, the last thing you may have on your mind is the security, safety and protection of your home.
But, at this time of year especially, it is important to focus on potential threats to your home. Here is why ….
The Big Freeze
As soon as the temperature plummets, your property becomes more vulnerable to burst and frozen pipes and other weather-related damage. For starters:
- make sure you protect your water pipes with insulation;
- keep your house warm by using the central heating for short periods of time throughout the day;
- seal any drafts around door and window frames;
- if you are in a high-flood risk area, make sure you are prepared and know what to do if the worst happens;
- know where your stopcock is and make sure that it works. It is usually under the kitchen sink;
- if you haven’t already, get your boiler serviced to make sure it is working as efficiently as can be in the cold weather – this may also help you save money on energy bills;
- check for any damp patches in upstairs rooms as these can often be a sign of a leaky roof;
- check your gutters are clear of leaves, and repair and broken gutters
Finally, read our article Severe Weather Warning - How to Protect Your Home for further tips.
Having your home broken in to does not bear thinking about, yet, unfortunately it does happen. Recent statistics show that it affects over half million of us every year:
- the number of reported break-ins in England was 390,000 in 2015;
- add in thefts in Scotland and Wales, and the overall break-in figure was over 500,000.
And with this the time of year when burglaries typically increase, how can you make sure you are not a victim?
Here are some tips to bear in mind:
- check that you have strong locks on your windows and doors. Not only can this deter a burglar, but could see you save money on your home insurance premiums;
- even if you are only going out for a short period of time, if you have a burglar alarm, turn it on;
- set radios to come on at different times throughout the day – burglars do not only come out after dark, but when they see an opportunity. If they know a house is going to be empty – perhaps you are at work or on the school run – they can go about their business undisturbed;
- do the same with lights – set them to come on when it starts to get dark to give the impression someone is at home;
- never leave valuables in plain sight – if you have a large television, for example, that can be easily seen through your window, move it – or make it difficult for people to see into the room;
- always keep your shed locked – most burglars don’t carry a lot of tools with them, so will use whatever they can find nearby to break in to your home;
- check you have adequate contents insurance - At UKinsuranceNET we understand that in the lead up to Christmas, your home may be full of extra valuables. With this mind, we are pleased to advise that our home insurance policies offer up to 10% extra coverage for your contents’ sum insured during the festive season. Please check your policy for further details;
- if you are visiting friends or family or are away on holiday over the Christmas period, don’t shout about it all over Facebook – it advertises the fact your home is empty.
Finally, while Christmas tree lights and candles look pretty, never leave the lights on while you are not at home or leave candles burning unattended. According to statistics, incidents of house fires can rise up by 50% during the festive season.
UKinsuranceNET’s free checklist of ways to keep your home safe