When it starts to turn colder and long, dark nights draw in as we head towards winter, it’s time to make sure your home is properly protected against freezing pipes, theft, and fire risks.
Here are our tips on how to keep your home safe and warm during the winter months:
Plummeting temperatures can bring the risk of freezing pipes, which will leak when they thaw, causing havoc with water damage in your home.
- Lag outside water pipes to stop them from freezing.
- Insulate your loft water tank, leaving it clear underneath to expose it to warmth from the house.
- Make sure the stopcock is easily accessible and usable in case you need to shut the water off if there’s a leak.
- If you’re going away in the winter, leave the heating on constantly at a low temperature (at least 15°C) to help prevent the pipes freezing, and leave the loft hatch open to allow warm air to circulate.
Strong winds, heavy rain, and snow all have the potential to cause damage to your home and garden.
- Check your roof for missing or damaged slates, as well as the roofs on sheds and outbuildings.
- Ensure gutters, gullies, and drains are clear of leaves and blockages.
- Prune low hanging branches that could cause damage in high winds or heavy snow.
It’s important to keep your home secure in winter, as the darker nights can provide the perfect cover for burglars.
- Invest in a burglar alarm – the siren box alone can act as an effective deterrent.
- Make sure all your doors are strong and secure, and fitted with good quality mortice locks.
- French doors should also be fitted with top and bottom mortice locks.
- Keep spare keys out of sight, and not under doormats or plant pots.
Candles and open fires can create a warm and cosy atmosphere, but they can also present a fire risk if you don’t take proper precautions.
- Install smoke detectors throughout your home and test them regularly.
- Keep lighted candles away from places they might be knocked over, and avoid leaving them unattended.
- Have one or two easily accessible fire extinguishers around the house, and make sure you know how to use them.
- Always place a guard in front of an open fire.
- Always switch off an electric blanket before getting into bed.
- Keep well clear of the house when setting off fireworks for New Year celebrations, and avoid overhanging trees branches.