10 easy ways to avoid home emergencies
Home emergencies can strike at any time, from a frozen condensate pipe in the midst of winter to a break-in during the summer. Therefore, you should take steps to keep your home safe throughout the year – remember, prevention is better than cure, and a stitch in time saves nine.
1. Keep drains unblocked
You should take steps to prevent blocked drains two to four times a year, depending on how likely they are to get blocked up. If you’re constantly pulling hair and soap out of your bathroom drains and aren’t the best at scraping plates clean before you put them in the kitchen sink, you may need to unblock drains even more regularly. Use drain unblocker and follow the instructions on the packaging to the letter, or for a green option, pour baking soda down the drain and follow this up with vinegar.
Don’t forget to clean your outdoor drains as well as your indoor drains – simply clear leaves and debris from them to prevent blockages.
Plughole protectors are a great way to prevent blockages. Ensure you buy the right plughole protector for your plugs.
2. Get gas appliances serviced
Gas appliances, such as boilers and gas cookers, should be checked and serviced by a Gas Safe engineer once every year. This helps to keep the central heating system safe, efficient and effective, and reduces the likelihood of boiler breakdowns, carbon monoxide poisoning, fire, explosion and a number of other incidents, some of which can be life-threatening.
3. Get electrics checked
Electrics should be checked by a Part P electrician once every five or ten years, and new electrical installations should be checked over before they go live. Doing so will help you avoid electrocution, power cuts and broken circuits, so you can keep the lights on throughout the year.
4. Clean your gutters
Gutters can become clogged up with leaves and other materials over spring, summer and autumn, which can lead to leaks when the winter storms arrive. If you can do so safely, clean any debris out of your gutters once or twice a year – this is best done in the warmer weeks of autumn and towards the end of spring. It can be a very miserable job and may be far more dangerous in cold, wet and dark conditions.
5. Lag your boiler condensate pipe
A very common reason for winter boiler breakdowns is frozen condensate pipes. To prevent this issue, insulate your condensate pipe, or alternatively, use a condensate pipe heater. This will ensure your condensate pipe does not freeze up when the first frosts fall.
6. Lag other taps and pipes
Pipe insulation is the best way to avoid frozen pipes, and frozen pipes can cause your plumbing and heating system to fail or can spring leaks. Lag your indoor pipes – insulating your hot water pipes should also improve your energy efficiency – and get your outdoor tap lagged to prevent it from freezing in the winter.
7. Stay electrical safe with plug sockets
Don’t overload your plug sockets – learn how to use extension cords without creating an electrical fire risk. Waterproof boxes should be fitted on all external sockets to ensure water cannot leak into them.
8. Keep your roof sturdy
When the weather is good, take a ladder out and take a peek on your roof (if you can do so safely). Check that all the tiles are in place and that none are broken. It’s also a good idea to take a look at roof tiles after strong winds or rains, as tiles and slates can be dislodged in extreme weather.
When you notice a leak, get someone to repair it immediately – these problems just get worse and worse!
9. Keep your kitchen clean
Don’t worry if you are in the habit of keeping your home messy – we don’t judge! Nonetheless, it’s a good idea to keep kitchens as clean as possible – a lot of pest control issues originate in the kitchen, as food waste attracts rodents and other vermin.
Furthermore, a messy kitchen is also more likely to be a dangerous kitchen – a toaster filled with toast crumbs or an oven coated with grease is at an increased risk of fire, and electrical or grease fires can be the hardest to combat.
10. Fit external security devices
A security light, a burglar alarm, garden gates and fences are all great ways to keep the burglars at bay. Other inexpensive features that can keep criminals off your property include:
- A well-lit driveway and garden
- Secure, well-maintained fences
Want to save money? No problem.
If you’re having trouble with any aspect of your boiler, home appliances or if you’re suffering from a home emergency such as an electrical breakdown, plumbing problem or security issue then be sure to get in touch with us.
You can face a hefty bill if something goes wrong at home so eliminate the possibility and speak to us today.
Call us on 0345 3192 247 and one of our friendly technical team will go through some simple diagnostics to see if your problem can be resolved over the phone. If not, we’ll send an engineer to be with you as soon as possible to ensure you’re back up and running in no time.