6 things you can do to make your home safer

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There are certain things which we all know we should do, but somehow between jaunts to the shops, chauffeuring kids and important things on TV, we never quite get round to doing them. Well give us one Saturday morning and we (well, we say we, you'll be doing the work) will substantially reduce your chances of having to make a claim this year on your home.


Together all of these 6 fixes take an hour or two at most.


1. Check your geyser


Don't feel too bad if you've never even seen your geyser (many people haven't). But what you should know, is burst geysers are often the cause of household insurance claims and the damage can be very expensive.


Once you've located the geyser, go outside to locate the overflow pipe. If it's dripping, this is a sign of trouble - get a plumber to come and check it out. Next you'll need a ladder and a torch. If the geyser is accessible, have a quick check of its condition. If it's looking old, damp or rusty, in fact if you have any suspicions whatsoever, call in a plumber to check it. Note that you should have the sacrificial node on your geyser replaced every one to two years to extend the lifespan of your geyser.  If you have an older home, or haven't checked in on the geyser for a few years, this should be near the top of your to-do list!


2. Find out where the switch is for your water mains


Next tricky question is - do you know where the switch is for your water mains? If the worst does happen and you have a burst pipe, whoever is in the home should be able to switch it off without hunting for it.


3. Add some security lighting


Adding lights with sensors at strategic points on your property is a good crime deterrent. In particular, focus on areas around entrances such as your garage and front door. This is probably something to talk to your security company - or a specialist - about, rather than tackling yourself.


4. Do some strategic gardening


If you have a small jungle growing around your property that intruders could easily hide in, use as a climbing aide, or that obscures your view when pulling out onto the road, now is a good time to do some trimming. Particularly look at the front of your property by the main entrance.


5. Get a fire blanket and extinguisher


You may have the latest in Jamie Oliver cookbooks and Le Creuset pans, but if you haven't got a fire extinguisher and a fire blanket within easy reach, you're missing some essential kitchenware. As many household fires start in the kitchen, these are important tools for extinguishing a fire before it gets out of control. A quick trip to the shops (before lunch) is in order.


6. Make sure your braai area is safe


If you have a braai area, have a look to see if any clutter has built up that may become a hazard. Look out for dry vegetation and furniture too close to the fire, and check that there is a safe place to keep fire lighting equipment. Also make sure you have a bucket of sand or easy source of water nearby.


Be Safe Out There.