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How To Reduce The Risk Of Fire And Flood While You Are Away

How To Reduce The Risk Of Fire And Flood While You Are Away

There’s nothing like a holiday to recharge the batteries, relax and unwind from work and get to grips with the real you beneath all that day to day chaos. However, if you don’t adequately prepare your home for your vacation, returning to your home to find fire or flood damage can undo all that relaxing.

When properties aren’t lived in, there’s an increased chance that a water leak, or a power surge, will go undetected. Here is the best way to stop your return home becoming a nightmare.

13 steps to help reduce the risk of fire and flood whilst you are away

  1. Switch off your water and central heating, to avoid any escape of water from burst pipes or plumbing fixtures in your absence.
    Please note- in the off circumstance temperatures are freezing in the UK, it may help to keep heating on a low setting to avoid frozen water pipes.
    Turning central heating off.
  2. Inspect your pipes for potential damage. If there is any corrosion or degradation to the pipes or fixtures, ensure this is taken care of before you leave.
    Man checking radiator pipes.
  3. Clear gutters and drains of all debris. This will protect your home from overflow following a downpour of rain.
    Person clearing gutter. min
  4. Flood sensors can be installed to detect excess moisture if you are concerned you might be a risk. These can be placed near sinks, boilers and in basements.
    An alarm will sound should the device come into contact with water, be sure to alert your neighbours you have this system in place. More advanced systems will shut off your water supply for you.
    Flood in basement.
  5. Check your windowsills for mirrors, jars and magnifying glasses that could start a fire if they were to catch the sun. Between 2010 and 2015 more than 150 fires were started in London, by the sun being magnified through such items.
    Flowers in glass vase on window.
  6. Ensure all white goods and electrical items that aren’t needed are unplugged to avoid potential issues if your property experiences a power surge. Power surges can, at best damage your appliances, and at worst, can start fires that can destroy your property.
    White goods.
  7. Set a small lamp or lighting on a timer and ask a neighbour to park on your driveway to make it appear as though there is someone in the property. Placing lighting on a timer can give the illusion that the house is occupied and deliver an effective, first line of defence.
    Adjusting heating on phone.
  8. Ensure smoke detectors are working and fit for purpose. Change the batteries if you know it has been a while since they were last updated.
    Checking smoke alarm.
  9. Ensure gas appliances have been switched off. This includes all types of cookers, air conditioners, clothes dryers, fridges and freezers.
    Gas hob.
  10. Flammable and combustible materials should be stored away from heat sources, or disposed of if unnecessary. This particularly applies to car rags, cleaning supplies and any loose fabric such as tea towels and clothes on radiators.
    Any gas containers should ideally be stored away from your home, in the event a fire is ignited.
    Oily cloth.
  11. Ensure there are no cigarettes, candles or any other fire sources lit or still smoking before leaving your property.
    Forgotten lit cigarette butt.
  12. Asking a friend, family member or neighbour to check on your property will help to alert you to any problems, and will keep your peace of mind.
    Neighbour checking in on property.
  13. Check your local authority to see if your area has any flood alerts and warnings. You can prepare your home from natural disasters
    Warning sign- floods.

If the worst should happen whilst you are away and your property experiences a fire or flood, there are a few measures you can take. Read our blog on What do I do when my house floods? and How To Reduce Stress In The Event Of A Fire Or Flood.

You can also use our 24-hour helpline to get the specialist help you need, when you need it.

From leak detection to fire and flood restoration and drying services, we can help you get your house back to being your home as quickly and easily as possible.

And, as Rainbow Restoration has more than 50 branches across the UK, there’s bound to be one near you. You can find your nearest branch on our website, or give us a call on our 24/5 helpline 01623 422 488 365 days of the year.

Updated: 03/04/23

Published: 03 Apr 2023