Nobody likes sudden home emergencies. They can be anything from a minor nuisance to a major catastrophe. The worst thing is you never know when disaster may strike. Many people prefer to take out a solid home insurance emergency cover. This is a good practice and really comes in handy when something unpleasant happens. But is just having a cover enough? We’d say, a little caution on your part can save you costly repairs. A stitch in time saves nine, after all.
Easy Ways to Avoid Home Emergencies
Whether you’re renting a small flat or living in a large country house, your home is a safe place. Or at least it should be. Accidents and emergencies have a nasty habit of occurring when you least expect them too. So it always pays to be prepared in advance. With just a bit of regular effort and maintenance, you can keep your home emergency free. Here are 10 tips that can help you do just that:
- Prevent Blocked Drains
- Regularly Check Electrics
- Clean Out Gutters
- Regularly Check Gas Appliances
- Insulate Condensate Pipes
- Safe Socket Use
- Insulate Plumbing
- Check Roof after Bad Weather
- Clean Out the Kitchen
- External Security Devices
Here’s what you can do.
Prevent Blocked Drains
Blocked drains are an annoying problem that keeps recurring unless you’re careful. It’s usually a good idea to take steps to prevent blockages at least two to four times a year. If you are not particularly good at keeping your drains clean, you may need to clean them out more often. There are 2 ways you can unblock your drains. You can buy a drain cleaner at your local market and follow the instructions. Be sure to follow the instructions carefully. Drain cleaners often have toxic and corrosive chemicals. You don’t want to end up with a chemical injury. The other option is a safer, greener solution. Use baking soda and vinegar instead of drain cleaner to unblock your drains safely.
Regularly Check Electrics
Faulty or shorted wiring can be a significant problem if not dealt with. Faulty electrics can short out your expensive home appliances. You don’t want to be locked out of the Champions League finals with a shorted telly because you were careless. Luckily, you don’t need to get your electrics checked several times a year. Ideally, a check by a Part P electrician once every five to ten years is enough. This will help reduce the risks of fire, shorts, electrocution and more.
Clean Out Gutters
External drains and gutters are another area you want to focus on regularly. Gutters clog up with leaves and debris during all seasons. If you can do so safely, try cleaning out your gutters at least twice a year during spring and autumn. Be sure to do it during clear weather, because you’ll be high above the ground. You don’t want to injure yourself cleaning out the gutters in bad weather.
Regularly Check Gas Appliances
Gas appliances can turn into a fire risk if you aren’t careful with them. At least once a year, you should get all your gas appliances serviced. This includes boilers, cookers and any other appliances a Gas Safe engineer would check. Regular checks mean a reduced risk of breakdowns. It also means you are less likely to have a carbon monoxide-related emergency, fire or explosion.
Insulate Condensate Pipes
Frozen condensate pipes are a big factor behind boiler breakdowns in the winter months. Frost and cold weather often causes the water in your boiler to freeze and even burst the pipe. To avoid this, you should always insulate your boiler condensate pipe. You can also use a condensate pipe heater to prevent it from freezing up.
Safe Socket Use
Electrical fires are a scary hazard that can devastate your home. Most of the time, electrical fires are either because of faulty wiring or unsafe use. A good practice is to never overload your sockets with too many appliances. Never use poor quality extension cords or chargers. Don’t forget to fit external sockets with waterproof covers. This will prevent water from leaking in and causing shorts.
Just like your boiler condensate, your home plumbing can fall prey to the frost. The best way to avoid this is to insulate them. You should insulate all your indoor pipes as well as your outdoor taps. This helps keep hot water pipes energy efficient. It also prevents them from freezing up, leaking or even bursting.
Check Roof after Bad Weather
Run an eye over your roof every now and then. If you can, climb up in good weather and have a look at the roof tiles. It’s also a good idea to check the state of your roof after bad weather. Strong winds and heavy rain can dislodge tiles and cause leaks. If you find any broken or missing tiles, get them replaced immediately and prevent leaks.
Clean Out the Kitchen
Most of us are reasonably tidy with our living habits. It’s all well and good to have your flat spic and span. But the area you really need to keep clean is the kitchen. Most pest infestations start from the kitchen. Food waste brings vermin, rodents, and insects into your home. Messy ovens and appliances are a fire risk waiting to happen. To avoid costly repair or pest control bills, keep the kitchen as clean as you can.
External Security Devices
So you now know what to do to avoid most emergencies inside your home. But what if an external emergency, like a burglary, occurs? Invest in some inexpensive external security devices to keep your home safe. Thorny hedges, security lights, strong fences, and burglar alarms are all great ways to protect your home. But it also helps to get the valuables inside your home insured, just in case. Do research on a home care cover, compare and see which ones suit you best. Keep your jewelry and other valuables in a bank locker wherever possible. It also helps to stay vigilant and report any loiterers or suspicious characters to the authorities. Do your part to keep your home safe and avoid frustration later.