Winter tips for those dark winter days
With the days getting darker, it’s worth keeping a few safety tips from AA Home Insurance in mind to ensure that nothing else happens to darken your day if you are away for a few days or leave your home unoccupied for more than a day.
We have been experiencing a colder than normal winter to date this year and one of the main causes of damage to property is from escaping water from frozen or burst pipes.
Tips to prevent pipes bursting in winter:
- If you are leaving your home for a length of time this winter – turn off water at the mains and ensure the pipes are drained. You can drain the pipes by letting the water run on all taps and by flushing all toilets.
- If you don’t want to drain your water system and you have gas or oil central heating, you can set the system to operate continuously for 24 hours a day at 55 degrees Fahrenheit or 13 degrees Centigrade. Please ensure all radiators are on and there is adequate fuel supply
- You should also ensure that the attic door (where fitted) is left open. This will help spread the heat throughout the entire house.
More tips for keeping your home safe:
- Clean dead leaves and other debris from your gutters from time to time to avoid rainwater overflowing on to your roof.
- Check roof tiles and slates are secure so you don’t get water damage in the loft/roof space.
- Check your aerial is properly secured.
- Remove dead/damaged branches from any trees which could damage your property in stormy weather.
- Store your garden furniture in a properly sealed shed/garage/conservatory.
- Make sure your front gate is properly locked.
- Make sure your pipes are properly insulated to avoid them freezing. Outside pipes should be fitted with insulating sleeves if exposed. The big freeze of late 2009 and early 2010 resulted in more than 19,000 insurance claims at a cost of close to a quarter of a billion to the Irish Insurance industry.
- Make sure all electrical Christmas decorations, sight as fairy lights have tight connections. Make sure you unplug them all when there’s no one at home. View our Christmas light safety tips guide for the festive season.
- Never leave candles lit in an empty room.
- Check the attic has adequate ventilation.
- Double check that your smoke alarm works.
All you need to do is follow the step’s above to help ensure your property is kept safe this winter. Ensure you choose the right home insurance policy for your needs, check the benefits of AA Home Insurance during the winter months.