Keep your home warm and safe this winter, by taking steps to protect it from common damage caused by tough weather.
Here are some of our best tips.
Beat the big freeze
It’s inevitable that there will be at least one or two periods of very cold weather every year, leading not only to chilly toes, but also the risk of damage to pipes. Here’s how to prepare:
- Lag outside pipes to prevent them freezing and then bursting in the cold.
- Leave the heating on low if you need to spend any time away from home. At least 15°C will help stop internal pipes freezing. If you have a water tank in the loft, leave the hatch open to let heat in there too.
- Make sure you know where the stop tap is in case you suffer a leak.
Weather the storm
Winter weather means a greater likelihood of high winds, storms and, of course, snow, all of which can take their toll on your home. It is worth taking a few steps while the sun is still shining that may help prevent damage:
- Check your roof for missing slates, not forgetting felt on sheds and garages – if necessary, call in a professional rather than attempt to inspect high roofs yourself.
- Keep your gutters, gullies and drains, including downpipes, clear of leaves.
- Cut back low-hanging tree branches which could be brought down by strong winds or heavy snow.
Keep burglars at bay
The long winter nights may provide extra cover for burglars. Make your home less of an easy target by:
- Investing in a burglar alarm, or even just a siren box, which can act as a visual deterrent.
- Repair any broken outdoor security lighting
- Making sure your doors are strong and in good condition; fit good-quality mortice deadlocks where possible.
- Ensuring that French doors are fitted with top and bottom mortice locks.
- Not leaving spare home or car keys in view from outside, or near windows or letterboxes.
There are plenty of other simple and practical steps you can take to keep burglars at bay.
Minimise fire hazards
Open fires, lit candles and fireworks all increase the chances of a domestic fire in the winter. Keep the risk to a minimum by following these tips:
- Install a functioning smoke detector and test it regularly.
- Avoid leaving candles unattended, in a draft or somewhere they may be knocked over; and keep a guard in front of an open fire if you’re out of the room.
- Invest in a couple of fire extinguishers – keep them handy and know how to use them.
- Don’t fill a chip pan more than one third full of fat or oil.
- Always switch off electric blankets before getting into bed and make sure they carry a safety mark.
Getting into good habits and knowing how to protect your home can help you have a safer and more relaxed winter.
Protecting your home during winter is important, but so is getting home insurance you can rely on.
For more information about how to protect your home and belongings, go to Solved.