10 Ways To Keep Your Home Safe in Autumn
As autumn approaches, the days get shorter and darkness falls earlier. This can give more opportunity for thieves and bad weather to put your home at risk. So we’ve put together our tips on how to keep your home and contents safe this autumn.
Outside decorating and repairs
Frost will accelerate any cracks or damage to paint, cement and pointing. So check carefully on all external walls for any signs of flaking or cracking. As you check, also make sure that nothing has built up against your damp proof course e.g. garden debris, as this could allow moisture to penetrate your walls.
Make sure your heating and boiler are working fully before you really need them. Give all heating and hot water a trial run before the cold spells hit. Make sure that you have your boiler serviced each year and that you get any problems e.g. a faulty pilot light, fixed before they become emergencies. Consider adding Home Emergency Cover to your policy to give you protection in the event of an emergency.
Stop cocks and isolating valves
Make sure they are working and that you know where they all are. Give them a test to check they still shut off the water supply in case you need to do so if you’re unlucky enough to have a frozen pipe or water leak.
Block up draughts
You can purchase draught excluders to block up any draughts coming from your doors and windows. Don’t forget to check your letterbox and loft hatch for draughts too. Not only will this keep your home warmer, it will also save energy and money and is better for the environment.
Whilst it’s important to insulate our homes on the flip side we also need to make sure that they are well ventilated so that condensation doesn’t build up. Condensation occurs when warm air, full of moisture, collides with colder surfaces such as windows and walls.
If rooms aren’t ventilated the condensation can turn into damp and mould. Make sure that rooms are ventilated by opening the windows to change the air in the room, installing trickle vents to windows or in extreme cases using a dehumidifier. Make sure that air can flow around condensation prone spots by removing any furniture from being pressed up against walls etc.
Clear drains and gutters
Make sure that all leaves and debris are removed from gutters and drains. Test the flow of water and fix any broken pipes or areas where water overflows. If walls become continuously soaked with water this can cause damage, especially if the water freezes in cold spells.
Outdoor furniture and buildings
Make sure that any soft furnishings such as cushions are stored inside to prevent mould building up. Invest in a good quality cover for swings, tables and other outdoor furniture to keep the water and frost off. Make sure that buildings such as sheds, playhouses and summerhouses are regularly painted with special outdoor paint.
Check for any slipped, missing or cracked tiles. If you suspect that your roof needs repairing it’s time to call a specialist tradesperson. Ideally use a recommendation site or ask for a recommendation from friends and family to make sure you ask a reputable firm to carry out the work.
Sadly thieves often use the darker evenings to break into people’s homes. To protect your home and prevent a burglary make sure that you always keep windows and doors locked when you are out. Install a good quality alarm; look at investing in external security lights and motion sensor video system and internal light timers. Make sure that you keep all valuables out of sight and that you have any items worth over £1500 listed on your specified items in case they are stolen. If you’re planning a holiday ask a friend or neighbour to pick up your mail so that it doesn’t signal to potential burglars that your home is empty.
With these tips you should be able to protect your home this autumn. However for peace of mind we always recommend checking that you have adequate home and contents insurance in place. And that you consider taking extra protection in case of a Home Emergency.