Is Your Home Prepared for Winter?

Is Your Home Prepared for Winter?
November 15, 2016

Winter is fast approaching. And as the nights get darker and the temperatures drop, it’s important to make sure your home is up to the task of keeping both you and your belongings safe.

Winter is fast approaching. And as the nights get darker and the temperatures drop, it’s important to make sure your home is up to the task of keeping both you and your belongings safe.

Follow these simple steps, and your home will be ready for whatever challenges winter can throw at it.

Lock and key

Looking after your belongings

 

Lock up your property

That means doors, windows, garages, sheds, and anywhere else a burglar might be able to exploit. It seems obvious, but burglars are opportunists and will look seek out the easy targets. Don’t risk it, and lock up your property even if you only go out for a short time.

Make your home appear occupied

According to Crimestoppers, burglary rates increase by 11% on average during January. Use timers or leave lights on if you are going out and aren’t going to return before it falls dark.

Make sure your burglar alarm and outside lighting is visible

Burglar alarms are unsurprisingly one of the best deterrents. Even a dummy alarm can make a difference if it is clearly visible. Security lighting also ensures there aren't any spots for trespassers to hide in if they try to break in.

Top tip!

Hide your calendar! One of the things burglars look for when they break into a property is a calendar. It allows them to know when you’ll be out of the house, so they can return for the heavier, more valuable items.

 

Utilities

Looking after yourself

 

Get your heating system serviced yearly

Make sure your boiler is there for you when you need it most by putting it through a regular service. If your boiler is working to full efficiency, it’s costing you less on your fuel bill, which will quickly cover the cost of a service and give you peace of mind.

Make sure you know where the mains water switch is

If water pipes freeze they can burst. Make sure you know where the stopcock is (the off switch) and check that it’s easy to turn, so you can switch off the water if you need to. It is a simple measure that could prevent a costly flood if the worst was to happen.

Make sure your smoke alarm is working

A house fire can happen at any time of year, so make sure you are prepared. You can ask your local fire service to check your home for fire safety. It’s free and you may even be eligible to get free smoke alarms fitted.

Install an audible carbon monoxide alarm

Carbon monoxide is known as the silent killer because it is odourless, tasteless and colourless. Installing a carbon monoxide detector is a simple DIY task, with most only requiring a couple of screws to fit. Some are freestanding and require no installation at all! For peace of mind, install one in each room that contains a gas appliance.

Layers

Dress in plenty of layers

A cold home can have a significant impact on your health. One of the best ways to keep you well during winter is to stay warm. Keeping warm can help prevent colds, flu or more serious health conditions. The chances of these problems are higher if you're over 65, struggle to afford heating, have a long-term health condition, or are disabled.

 

Keep a mixture of salt and sand handy

This combination is ideal for spreading on steps or paths to prevent a dangerous build up of ice. Also make sure you have warm shoes or boots with non-slip soles to help prevent slips and falls when venturing outdoors.

Consider fitting a grab rail

Grab rails can be positioned in and around the home to provide support when balancing, standing, sitting down, or entering and leaving your home. You may even be entitled to a disabled facilities grant (DFG) from your local council for these adaptations, meaning you may not even have to pay!

Keep a stock of basic supplies

These should include simple cold, flu, and sore throat remedies, as well as basic food items just in case it’s too cold to leave the house to go shopping. You could also consider doing your food shopping online and get it delivered to your door. For many supermarkets this is a free service, so take advantage!

Ask your family, neighbours or friends if they could call or visit you more often

No amount of preventative measures can stop an accident from happening. Regular visits and a little bit of company during winter months can prove to be a lifesaver for the circumstances you can’t predict!

Keep your mobile phone, laptop, or tablet fully charged

Keeping your electronic devices fully charged means you wont be left helpless if your home loses power. Portable battery banks are an affordable way to ensure you always have access to electricity when you need it.

Top tip!

Keep a list of telephone numbers by your phone such as utility companies, emergency numbers, family, and friends, so you are never caught off guard when you need to pick up the phone.

Make sure to check out our range of household solutions that make day-to-day tasks easier for those with limited mobility. Sometimes it’s the smallest changes that make the biggest difference.

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