How to prevent returning to a disaster

There is nothing guaranteed to erase the memories of a wonderful holiday more than returning home to discover a domestic disaster, be it a burglary or a leak.

Recent statistics courtesy of the AA reveal that around a quarter of us have had this unpleasant experience, with water leakage being the most common (30%) followed by a boiler breakdown (18%) and burglary (15%). Other post-holiday catastrophes included wasps’ nests, electrical faults, smashed windows, vermin infestations and gas leaks.

Apart from the shock of finding that chaos has been reigning whilst you were enjoying yourself on holiday, it can of course also be very costly to put these things right. Whilst you would have noticed a leak starting if you had been at home, the escape of even a slight amount of water can cause untold damage to decor and furniture alike. There is also the possibility of items of sentimental value such as treasured photographs being destroyed.

So what can you do to make such an incident less likely?

  • Leave a key with a trusted neighbour and ask them to keep an eye on your property. Hopefully they would notice leaks and the like, and getting them to draw curtains or pick up post can keep the burglars at bay too. Leave your contact details with them in case of a major emergency.
  • Check all windows and doors before leaving home.
  • Turn all electrical appliances off.
  • Turn the boiler off.
  • Turn off your water supply at the stopcock.
  • Don’t encourage mice and rats by leaving food lying around.

Finally, check your home policy to see whether you are covered for this type of incident (often called Home Emergency Cover).

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