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Have you prepared your home for winter?

Getting ready for the festive period can be both a very exciting and tiring time of the year.

Many of you or your family will be working at some point during Christmas so it’s especially important that when you are at home, you are able to spend it as relaxed as possible. With this in mind, we’ve put together a few handy hints to help you and your family through the festive period.

Around the home

Boiler and radiators
No one wants a cold festive period. Bleeding radiators is one of the easiest ways to improve the efficiency of your heating. It’s also a good idea to have your boiler serviced by a registered engineer to ensure it’s ready for the coldest months, when it will be working hardest.

Smoke and carbon monoxide alarms
You should regularly check that your smoke and carbon monoxide alarms are functioning correctly and not low on battery power. It’s a quick job that will give you lasting peace of mind. Many fires start in the kitchen so never leave any cooking unattended.
Insulation
With temperatures dropping during December, it’s a good idea to check the loft to see whether you need additional insulation. Lagging pipes and water tanks will prevent heat escaping while also reducing the risk of ice forming and the plumbing problems it can cause. Leaving the heating on low when you are not there should also help.

Windows and doors
Faulty seals or gaps around windows and doors allow warm air to escape and cold air to get in. Blocking these draughts can make a big difference to the warmth of your home and help cut your energy bills. Using draught excluders at the bottom of doors can also be an effective measure.

Christmas lights
Christmas normally means fairy lights and lots of them, so make sure that you switch them off and unplug them before you go to bed, or leave the house. Check your Christmas tree lights conform to the British Standard.

Christmas gifts and presents
With Christmas gifts galore, your home will probably contain more items such as jewellery, watches, cash, laptops and other technology, just to mention a few. Although many insurers will increase your contents cover value during a religious festival, it is worth checking with them to see if you are covered.

If you are with Police Mutual for home insurance, it is worth noting that you are covered with an additional £5,000 of contents cover at no extra cost during any month in which you celebrate a religious festival, to cover gifts and food bought for the occasion. Terms & conditions apply.

Out and about

The festive period creates a higher risk of burglaries and with many families away from the home, consider the following:

Leave lights on
Keep valuables out of sight and connect lights to timers so that they come on at different times of the day. You can even connect the timer to the radio, so it appears that you are home. It’s also a good idea to have external areas well-lit as well.

Secure your property
Lock every door and window and if possible ask a friend or neighbour to check on your property regularly.

After Christmas

Reassess contents cover
When normality returns, you will probably find that you may have some new jewellery, new phone or even a new TV, so this is a good time to check with your insurer that you have sufficient contents cover.

Great protection, no hidden costs, easy to switch
With no admin fees and interest-free monthly payments, Police Mutual’s home insurance could help alleviate the financial strain we can all feel at this time of year. We also make it easier to switch straight away by paying any cancellation fees you might be charged by your current provider, up to the value of £125.

For more information on our home insurance click here or call our dedicated team on 0800 032 2610.

Police Mutual home insurance is provided by Royal & Sun Alliance Insurance plc.

PMGI Limited, trading as Police Mutual, is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. Registered in England & Wales No. 1073408. Registered office: Alexandra House, Queen Street, Lichfield, Staffordshire WS13 6QS.

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Article published on 1 December 2017

David Reeves

About the author

David Reeves is one of the Senior Marketing Managers here at Police Mutual. He is based in the General Insurance office in Liverpool and likes running and walking in his spare time.

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