- By Indwe Risk Services
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Many people love winter – you have roaring fires, hearty meals and an easy excuse to sleep in. For homeowners, however, winter brings a completely different set of risks to the warmer seasons. These risks can be avoided if you’re conscientious and conduct a little regular home maintenance.
It’s chilly at home, which is why heaters tend to get switched on as soon as you get back from work. Check that all heating devices are in good condition and that no cords are frayed. Be aware of placing any heater too close to something flammable, like curtains, and turn all devices off when you leave the room and especially when you go to bed.
Lighting a fire makes your home warm and cosy, but it can be a huge fire risk. Take precautions by cleaning out the chimney before making a fire and having a tight-fitting screen to prevent sparks from landing on the carpet. Never leave a fiercely burning fire unattended and ensure that it is properly out when you go to bed. Arrive Alive recommends that you have a small fire extinguisher in your home – from a reputable dealer – and you know how to use it.
When you use candles, place them securely in a candle holder, on a stable surface and away from the reach of small children. Avoid placing candles in a draught, especially where there is the risk of your curtains blowing into the candles and catching alight. Remember to blow out all candles when you go to bed.
Pipes burst in winter because the water in them freezes, and this is why lagging on exposed water pipes is essential. “Lagging is insulation for pipes” and it “helps to keep water hot”, according to BUILD. You should also insulate your geyser with a geyser blanket.
While your insurance should cover sudden and unexpected damage to your property, it won’t usually pay out for damages that are caused by gradual deterioration due to lack of maintenance. Focus on general home maintenance, including unblocking gutters and pruning trees.
South Africans are already in the grips of winter, but it’s never too late to conduct a maintenance inspection to ensure that your home is in tip-top shape.
To check that you are adequately covered and that your home insurance policy is up to date, phone your Indwe advisor today on 0860 13 13 14.
Indwe is an authorised Financial Services Provider. FSP: 3425