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Water leak prevention tips

There are many ways in which water loss can occur in a home. Fortunately though, the vast majority of these can be avoided with a bit of forward planning and routine maintenance. Here are some of the more prevalent sources of water escape in Irish homes and our top tips on how to prevent and fix such issues:

Preventing and fixing Leaking Pipes

Following the below tips will help ensure that you can prevent your home’s pipes from leaking and limit the amount of water loss damage associated with them if and when they do leak:

  • • Schedule regular maintenance: All parts of a fixed water system, such as boilers, radiators stop valves, taps and all piping should be inspected by a qualified plumber at least once a year, particularly in the run up to the cold winter months.
  • • Consider automatic leak detection systems: Advanced devices can detect and automatically shut off the water supply if leaks are detected, preventing further damage.
  • • Apply insulating lagging to pipes: Ensure that pipes are all adequately lagged (insulated), particularly in cold areas like the attic, outbuildings or where pipes are external, so they do not freeze. Water tanks and cisterns should also be fitted with adequate lagging insulation. Ensure that insulation is on top of roof piping, not under, to benefit from heating coming from below.
  • • Open attic door to allow in heat: Leaving the attic door open while the heating is on will allow warm air to reach pipes high up in the attic and prevent them from freezing.
  • • Fix dripping taps: Replacing taps’ washers will stop dripping in most cases.
  • • Set timed heating while away: If you are away from home over the winter months, set the heating to come on when the temperature drops below a certain point to prevent freezing.
  • • Drain the system: If your home is to be unoccupied for a long time, drain all systems of water as this will ensure that no freezing can occur.

Alarm system

When choosing a home alarm system, look for one which is all of the following:

  • • Make your home alarm visible: Your home’s alarm should be easy to see, as it will ward off burglars.
  • • Choose a noisy alarm: A loud alarm will scare off burglars’ mid-break-in, while a fake or ‘dummy’ alarm won’t.
  • • Consider a monitored alarm: Home alarm systems that are monitored will allow the police to respond to an alarm event much more quickly.
  • • Choose a wireless alarm: Household alarm systems that are wireless are harder to tamper with and continue to work during power outages.

Garden Security measures

Just like your house itself, there are a number of things that you can do in your garden on a daily basis to boost your overall home security:

  • • Lock garden items away: Valuable items such as bikes and power tools should be locked securely in a garden shed or outbuilding when not in use.
  • • Trim trees and bushes: Burglars can hide behind unkempt shrubbery and overbearing branches, using them to get closer to your house without being seen.
  • • Install garden lighting: A well-lit garden can deter would be burglars as it sops them from sneaking around unseen.

Tips for when on holidays

Before you go away on vacation, you should look to do the following so that your home is not targeted by would be thieves:

  • • Keep your plans secret: Be careful when sharing your holiday plans outside of close friends and family, especially on social media, as this could cause thieves to find out when you will be away.
  • • Check alarm batteries: Even the best home alarm systems are rendered useless when the batteries run out, so be sure to check that they are working before you leave.
  • • Cancel all deliveries: If uncollected packages build up in your hallway or porch, it shows burglars that you are not home.
  • • Make your house look occupied: Give a friend, relative or trusted neighbour a key so they can collect excess post and open and close blinds so it looks like you are there in the house.
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