Now is the time for homeowners to prepare for Winter
Yorkshire Building Society is offering homeowners tips to keep their property safe this winter.
Maximise your heating potential, minimise your bills
Whether it’s scheduling your boiler service or bleeding all your radiators before the cold snap hits, making sure your central heating system is at the top of its game now could save you money in the long-run.
Clear your gutters
As leaves fall there’s a chance your gutters and outside grates could become blocked. Making sure they are clear reduces the chance of damp or overflowing surface water causing damage.
Ventilate your property
poor ventilation can lead to damp or mould, which is not only unpleasant to look at but could cause health problems for you and your family. Try to keep your windows on vent, if it’s safe to do so, and limit the amount of washing you have drying around the house or on radiators.
Sweep the chimney
Think about getting your chimney swept before regularly lighting your fire this winter to make sure any blockages are removed.
Check smoke and carbon monoxide detectors
Making sure your safety detectors work ahead of the colder months is a vital check to complete before using fuel to maintain warmth in your property.
Now the clocks have gone back, this time of year also sees criminals seek to take advantage of darker nights.In 2017, the number of reported burglaries increased 7%* during the autumn months, so the Yorkshire suggests there are a number of simple steps homeowners could take to protect their property and possessions:
Securing your main doors may be obvious, but have you considered making sure windows, garden sheds or outbuildings and side gates are also locked-up both when you’re in and away from your property?
Hide your keys
It can be tempting to leave your keys near the front door to be more efficient in a morning, but be mindful burglars can often find ways to reach them through the letterbox. Also, never leave your keys in a ‘safe’ place outside your property; they will almost never be safe from criminals.
Alarms are more than deterrence
Visible alarms on your home’s exterior may deter intruders but it’s also there for a reason. Make sure it’s switched on when there’s no-one in or you’re in a different area of your house for a prolonged period.
If you’ve moved, made alterations to your property or increased the value of your possessions since you renewed your insurance you should check it still meets your needs.
Call the police, if you need to
Should you be burgled contact the police immediately. Unless they tell you otherwise, try not to touch anything as you could damage or destroy evidence they may need.
Janice Barber, mortgage manager at Yorkshire Building Society, said:
With colder days and darker nights approaching fast it’s an ideal time to take a step back and look at ways you can give your property a winter health-check.
Ensuring your home is in a good state of repair will help to maintain the value of your property, potentially help it to be more efficient and could also prevent any unwelcome issues.
It’s also an ideal time to review the security of your property and remind yourself of common-sense vigilance to protect your home and possessions. Taking the time to do these checks now will mean homeowners have one less thing to think about during what is likely to be a busy few months.
* In September 2017 there were 35,878 burglaries reported to the police, which increased to 38,516 in October 2017. Source: UK Crime Stats.