Easy maintenance tips to take you through lockdown in Autumn
With the last warmth of Autumn upon us, it’s a good time to prepare your home for the colder months ahead. Lockdown means many of us have much more time at home than we are used to. Why not use the opportunity to get ahead of some much-needed maintenance before Winter sets in? Here are some tips.
It’s easy to overload electrical outlets such as the heater, TV and children’s gaming consoles that are all plugged into one extension cord. But keeping an eye on shared plugs around the house or upgrading to a better, bigger outlet with surge protection, could help you avoid the possibility of overheating a circuit and blowing a fuse. Check regularly for plugs that trip or for loose wiring around the house, because these could mean there is an electrical fault that needs fixing. With lockdown, a lot more time is likely to be spent in the living room (especially if it’s cold), so don’t be complacent. Avoid leaving heaters unattended or candles burning.
Make a note of any repairs that require professional help and check with your insurer if they qualify for insurance assistance. Generally, ‘wear and tear’ type repairs will be for your own account and need to be done to maintain your insurance cover.
Keep things clear
As Winter approaches, it’s good to check that gutters are clear and that there aren’t any leaks that are going unattended. Clear away dried leaves as often as you can to avoid any unwanted kindling for a fire. Some of our gardens are still dry, which poses more risk.
A tip for parents with younger children at home is to create a scoreboard to see who can collect the most bags of leaves per week. This keeps the garden clear and the children entertained. Perhaps you can even include a prize or make it part of the chores they must complete to earn pocket money.
When cooking, braaiing or baking, keep oven mitts, wooden utensils, kitchen cloths and food packaging away from your stovetop and oven. With the whole family being home these days, having a ‘child-free’ zone of at least two metres around the stove and areas where hot food or drinks are prepared, can help to avoid accidents.
But anticipate minor accidents anyway
Imagine a home cricket match sees the ball go through a window, or a game of hide-and-seek goes awry, with the TV being knocked over. With kids looking to burn energy and playing around the home under lockdown, these scenarios could easily play out. Check with your insurer if repairs can be made under level four, and under your cover. Not every repair will be covered by insurance, but it’s always worth checking.
Take a walk around your home to anticipate small accidents that could take place and make a list of DIY fixes that can be done to prevent them. Repairs can include fixing loose hinges and resealing gaps in between bathroom tiles to prevent slipping and water damage.
Accidents do happen, as much as we don’t like to think about them, and keeping a clutter-free home is another way to avoid unnecessary risk.
Handle remote working with care
Make a list of any changes you have made to accommodate your new working-from-home space, ensuring you are adequately covered, and check in with your adviser to ensure you have considered everything you need cover for.
Keeping short-term insurance in place by paying your premium and following your terms and conditions, provides a warm safety net to help protect you for the cold Winter ahead.
Catherine Riley - cdcom
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