Now it is September, and summer is nearly over, thoughts turn to getting ready for the colder months. Winter fashions have started to appear in the shops and I find myself wanting to update my wardrobe ready for the new season. This year the shops are full of cord skirts and cosy knitware. Yet it’s not just our clothes which need updating for a new season, it’s also during this time of year that we need to think about getting our homes ready for the Winter as well. I want to feel safe and secure when I’m at home. Having young children makes this even more important.
The long, dark evenings are the perfect time to plan updating your home security. There are a number of things to think about in order to make your house safe. You want to protect your house from burglary as well as from damage from the weather or fire or even just normal wear and tear.
The thing I, and I’m sure many other, home owners fear most, is coming home to find our houses have been broken into. According to an FBI report, a typical burglary lasts for about 8 to 12 minutes and, on average, a burglar will break into a home within 60 seconds. There are some simple things you can do to keep your house safe from burglary. Keeping your keys safe, closing doors and windows and making sure doors have strong locks and bolts.
If the worst happens and you do become a victim of a crime then there are people who can help. Of course your first call should be to the police to register the crime. You may also want to change your locks and update your home security. Verisure partner with independent charity Victim Support to help aid crime victims and raise awareness of the risk of burglary. Did you know, Victim Support customers will receive a priority installation within 24 hours of ordering to help them feel safe and secure at home.
Recent research reveals that over the years, 80% of us have suffered some sort of property damage as a result of wintry weather. Things always seem to go wrong at this time of year, just when you really need them. Flooding, storms and even snow can cause damage to your home. Don’t leave it too late, make sure your house and contents are fully covered by your home insurance.
As an extra precaution against theft, you might consider getting a security camera installed and fitted. This is a worthwhile investment if you spend long hours out of the house. It is worth making friends with your neighbours and giving them a phone number to call in case of an emergency in your home. Neighbourhood watch schemes work well for this if there is one in your road. If you see any suspicious activity then report to the police or inform your neighbours straight away and they will do the same thing in return.
Batten Down the Hatches
Before the weather worsens, it is worth spending time preparing your house for Winter. All those little jobs you’ve been putting off will only get worse. Last year our fences kept blowing over and broke so in the end we had to buy a new panel. If we had sorted them out before the weather got bad we could have saved ourself money and a larger job. On our To Do list we have a couple of roof tiles which are loose and which need nailing down before they are blown off.
Inside and Out
Don’t forget the inside of the house as well as the outside. One of the most expensive appliances to go wrong in the home is the boiler. It isn’t long before we will start to put the heating on so now is a good time to get it serviced. You could also test it during the milder weather to check it is working, before you really start to need it. There is nothing worse than having no heating or hot water during a cold snap.
Doors and Windows
Bad weather can also have an impact on doors and windows. It is worth checking that doors and windows are secure against break-ins and also will protect the house from weather damage. Locks can be replaced and need to be checked on all external doors and windows as well as gates and sheds.
During Winter, household appliances seem to be used even more than normal. September is a good time to make sure they are working and in good condition. Boilers always seem to break down in Winter, when you really need them. It is worth getting them serviced every year to avoid a hefty cost just after Christmas. We seem to have so many more electrical appliances these days and leave them plugged in. Even something small like a mobile can cause extensive damage if left on to overheat.
Having smoke and fire alarms can prevent fires from spreading. If you have one check the batteries regularly. You should also dust the alarm every year to ensure it is working correctly. You can also fit carbon monoxide and gas meters.
Although it’s much more enjoyable to buy a new top than to spend money on a new alarm or servicing the boiler, it will be an investment you never regret. None of these things seem fun or exciting, but looking after your home will save you money and time in the long run. Being able to relax in your home, knowing you have made it safe and secure is the best way to start the new season.
Disclaimer: In association with Verisure