The 5 Most Common Breakdown Causes - 24|7 Home Rescue™ - Boiler & Central Heating Breakdown Cover
Celebrate Guy Fawkes Night Safely
Crowd watching fireworks and celebrating at night

Held annually on November 5th, Guy Fawkes Night is one of the most awaited holidays of the year. Commonly known as Bonfire Night or as Fireworks Night, it is a holiday which is celebrated in Britain and in several countries that were once part of the British Empire. It commemorates the foiled Gunpowder Plot of 1605 in which a group of Catholics failed to assassinate the Protestant King James I. They wanted to replace him with a Catholic head of state. On November 5th, 1605, Guy Fawkes was arrested when he was caught guarding 36 barrels of explosives placed beneath the House of Lords.

Days following his arrest, many conspirators including Fawkes were arrested and then hanged, drawn and quartered. The following year, the Observance of 5th November Act 1605 was passed to commemorate the event. It is celebrated till today with parades, fireworks, and straw effigies of Guy Fawkes and other political figures which are tossed into the communal bonfire. 

Although, public parks provide great entertainment, they aren’t everyone’s cup of tea. Many prefer to host an event in the comfort of their backyard. A private event will give you the liberty to serve food of your choice, play your favorite tunes, and host a variety of activities. While, a get together with friends and family is always fun, starting a bonfire and setting off fireworks can be quite dangerous. Last year, 4436 individuals attended the emergency room because of injuries sustained during Guy Fawkes Night. 

The British Association of Plastic, Reconstructive and Aesthetic Surgeons (BAPRAS) is currently calling on the Government to make a legislature mandating all firework packaging include graphic warnings like the ones which appear on cigarette boxes. They are hopeful people will take caution when hosting a fireworks display.     

Here’s How You Can Stay Safe

Set Off Fireworks:

  • Purchase fireworks that conform to British Standards. They should have BS 7114 and CE written on packaging. 
  • Keep fireworks in its original packaging or in a closed box with a metal lid. Do not empty them all onto the ground or put them in your pocket. You may accidentally set them off. 
  • Wear safety goggles, gloves and earplugs. It can prevent hearing loss and eye damage.
  • Angle fireworks away from buildings and caution spectators to keep a safe distance as you set them off. Ask them to stand at least 50 feet away. 
  • Pay attention to how windy it is. If there are strong winds, sparks from fireworks can blow towards spectators. You should position people in the opposite direction the wind is blowing. 
  • Keep pet indoors as fireworks explosion may frighten them. Close all doors, windows and draw the curtains. You should also distract them by turning on television.

Start a Bonfire:

  • Dig a shallow pit. It should be 50cm X 50cm X 01 meter. Surround the pit with stones or with bricks as it will keep the fire from spreading outside. 
  • Do not burn domestic waste as it is injurious to people’s health. Leaves, twigs, and fuel wood should be used instead. They burn very quickly and are safe to use.
  • Do not pour petrol and fireworks into the bonfire as it may flare-up. Use a fire lighter instead. 
  • Tie back long hair and do not wear scarves, skirts or other loose clothing which can catch fire.
  • Supervise your children from playing too close to the bonfire. It is very important you a keep an eye on them as they have the tendency to run after other children.
  • Keep buckets of water nearby or a hose hooked up to a water source. For extra safety, have a fire extinguisher as well. Do not leave the site until the fire is fully extinguished. 

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How to Install a Carbon Monoxide Detector?

Dependency on heating has risen tenfold since autumn has begun. Temperatures will dip further in the coming months. We will be greeted by chilly winds and snowstorms which will force many to stay indoors. Our security blanket against the harsh weather is none other than a gas operable boiler. Manufacturers of national boiler brands promise warmth and comfort. In most circumstances, they deliver on their promise but in some instances, boilers pose as a threat to the well-being and lives of all living at home. Boilers that emit carbon monoxide need to be capped off immediately as they are a source of danger.

Carbon monoxide is a byproduct of gas boilers and is usually released outdoors through a flue. The deadly gas will equalize in our home under two circumstances: either the flue is blocked, or our boiler is defective.  Carbon monoxide will release if there are cracks in the combustion chamber, leak in the seams or cracks in the exhaust piping. Its symptoms include nausea, blurred vision, loss of consciousness and breathlessness. Don’t make the mistake of dismissing these symptoms as a case of the flu. It is far more lethal! 

Its pseudonym ‘silent killer’ is eerily befitting. The Department of Health reports carbon monoxide poisoning accounts for 4000 medical visits and up to 50 deaths annually. As exposure to carbon monoxide increases, its symptoms go from bad to worse. Breathing in high levels of the deadly gas can cause seizures, a feeling that your environment is spinning, loss of physical co-ordination and Parkinsonism. It is a degenerative neurological condition that is characterized by stiffness, impaired speech and slow movement. 

How to install a carbon monoxide alarm:

Choose the right carbon monoxide detector

Carbon monoxide detectors come dime a dozen. Choose wisely after researching the pros and cons of each type. You can find alarms that are plugged into an outlet and those that are wired into a wall by an electrician.  Battery-operated alarms are commonly used. 

Location, Location, Location 

Install a carbon monoxide alarm in every room that contains a fuel-burning appliance such as a gas boiler or a hob. The alarm should be at least 3 meters away from the appliance. You should also install an alarm in any room which has a flu. 

If you wish to install it on a wall, make sure that it is at least 15 centimeters away from the ceiling. You can also install the alarm on the ceiling, but it should be at least 30 CM away from the light source and walls. 

The best place to install an alarm is your bedroom and the rooms in which you spend the most amount of time in. If you live in a multi-level home, you should install an interconnected carbon monoxide detector on every floor. All units will sound off even if one device detects the deadly gas. 

Avoid These Areas

Care should be taken to not install a detector behind drapery, furniture or in enclosed spaces such as a cupboard. This will prevent the device from effectively detecting the silent killer. Additionally, do not place the alarm next to a window, vent or a door or in a damp area like a bathroom.  

Read the Manual

The step by step installation of battery-operable alarms differ from manufacturer to manufacturer. It is therefore very important to read the manual which came with the packaging before you begin installation. 

Use a Screwdriver

Use the template that comes with the instruction manual and place it against the wall. Mark installation holes with a pencil. Next, use a screwdriver to make holes on the marked spots. Place the wall plugs into the holes by tapping them into position. 

Install the Base into the Wall

Place the screws into the anchors and then screw them in tightly. Afterwards, fit the carbon monoxide detector into position.

Insert Batteries 

Insert the batteries into the device. Next, test the alarm by holding down the ‘Test’ button until you hear it beeping. The alarm will sound for 3 to 5 seconds before turning off automatically.  

Test Your Alarm

Make it a habit to test the alarm every month by pressing the test button until the alarm sounds off. This will ensure the alarm circuitry is functional. You should also test the sensor of the unit occasionally by using a canned CO detector test spray. It is a non-flammable aerosol. Press the spray nozzle for at least 3 seconds. Your alarm should sound off within minutes. 

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How to Get Your Home Ready for Winter?

Wearing layers of clothes will help keep you warm during winter, but you will need to take several preventative measures to winterize your home. By taking precaution, you will not only lower your energy bills but in most cases, you will save yourself the hassle of calling a professional to weatherproof your home. The perils of not paying heed are several. If the temperature in your home falls below 16°C, the chances of falling gravely ill skyrocket. The elderly, children and those with disabilities are at the highest risk. Those with respiratory illness and high blood pressure can also develop complications such as heart attacks and pneumonia. Regardless of how harsh the weather becomes; we believe the following tactics can help you live indoors with ease.

Eliminate the Gap in Window Frames 

You need to inspect every nook and cranny to ensure your home is weatherproof. Cold air often enters through gaps in windows and doors. Caulking around these gaps is an inexpensive solution to keep the draft out. Begin caulking around the window frames outside your home and if necessary, fill in the gaps by caulking inside. Alternatively, you can apply weather strip around the window frames. Once you have measured the length of strip required, cut as necessary and stick it over the gaps.  

If your windows are past their prime, replace them with double pane windows. They are different from a single pane window because they have two layers of glass. Although, they may cost more than their single pane counterparts, double glaze windows are far more advantageous. They offer noise reduction and more importantly are energy efficient. Additional insulation on your windows can save you up to 30% on your annual energy bills.  

Draft-proof Your Doors

You can winterize your doors by using an under-door draft stopper. They prevent heat loss by closing the gap at the bottom of the door. Under-door draft stoppers come in a variety of forms and are easily installed with the help of a hammer and handful number of nails. Brush door sweep, self-adhesive weather strip, door snake and twin draft guard are readily available at most hardware stores. Before you make a purchase, take into consideration how wide your door is and how big the gap is. 

Use Thermal Curtains and Shades

Prevent cold air from entering through your windows with insulated draperies. Thermal curtains are energy efficient because they are lined with heavy material. They can save up to 30% in heat loss. It is best to keep them open during the day so sunlight can come in and to draw them at night. You can purchase drapery that comes with lining or ones that sells lining separately. Another option is to use honeycomb cellular shades. Cellular shades contain honeycomb packets that trap heat to block out the cold. Your home will be ready for winter by using cellular shades paired with thermal curtains.

Get a Boiler Breakdown Cover with Annual Service

You can weatherproof your home by having your boiler serviced before the arrival of winter. Having an early boiler service will help the engineer catch problems in your boiler. Servicing your boiler will also increase its lifetimes and improve its efficiency. 

It is ideal to have a boiler breakdown cover that provides emergency repair along with an annual boiler service. Although, independent tradesmen are available for hire, calling them out on the 11thhour during the dead of winter often proves difficult. They provide service in their local area only and cater to a limited number of customers daily. It is better to work with an organization that is reputable and are top-notch experts in their field.

247 Home Rescue has a network of 3000 engineers and provide cover throughout the United Kingdom. We specialize in boiler installation, annual service and emergency repair. We also employ tradesmen that are registered with Gas Safe Register which eliminates the risk of rogue tradesmen that do more harm than good.

You can view boiler cover plans here.

Keep Pipes from Freezing

As the temperature dips below zero, your water pipes are at risk of freezing over. This will not only cause discomfort as you will be unable to take hot showers, there is a possibility the pipes will burst and lead to flooding. You can prevent pipes from freezing by keeping your heating on even when you aren’t at home. Caulk or use spray foam insulation to fill the gaps where pipes run through walls or floors. Finally, apply heating tape directly to the pipes or fiberglass sleeves to decrease the chances of pipes freezing over. 

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