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Protecting your Home this Winter: Top Tips for Drains and Pipes

Protecting your Home this Winter: Top Tips for Drains and Pipes

As the weather gets colder, it’s not just the worry of having to wrap up warm and crank the thermostat up a notch or two that you need to consider. The winter months bring their own set of problems to the water system in your home, with frozen pipes, leaks and burst pipes being a common occurrence for homeowners all over the country.

The key to avoiding such issues is to make sure that you’re prepared. There are plenty of ways in which you can make sure that, during this winter season, you’re not facing any expensive hiccups and repair work; instead, you can relax and spend quality time with your family in front of the TV or a cosy fire.

Keep Gutters Clear

It’s not the nicest job in the world, but clearing the gutters of fallen leaves and debris this autumn can help to prepare your home ready for the cold spell. If you’re not careful, this debris can cause serious issues further down the line and, while you may not know how drain jetting works, you may need to ask for the help of a plumber to come and help you to rid your drains of any stubborn blockages.

If you don’t feel comfortable unblocking the gutters yourself, there will be a handyman in your area who has experience in the field – give him a call rather than risking it if you’re not confident in doing so.

The fact of the matter is that, in many cases, when more serious interventions such as drain jetting are required, it’s completely avoidable. Simple maintenance checks and tackling the issue in its early days can help to delay the need for any serious work. Do you need someone to unblock your drains? Call in the experts – they know how to do it, fast.

Insulate Exterior Pipes

If you have any exposed pipes, make sure that they’re suitably lagged to keep the cold at bay. Your outside tap, if you have one, would also benefit from some form of insulation – even if it just a tea towel wrapped around it for the duration of the winter. Turn the water off at the mains too so that there’s no water left in the tap and its connecting pipes.

Make sure that, when you turn on the radiators after the summer spell, you check to see if any have frozen and help to keep them in good condition by pouring hot water down them at once a week. This will also help to keep them free of blockages, too.

Protecting your Home this Winter

Bleed the Radiators

If you find that your radiators aren’t heating uniformly, it is probably due to air pockets in the system. Bleed the radiators to get rid of the air and allow the water to circulate properly.

It’s a simple job that is so often ignored. Just grab the radiator key, pop a bowl underneath in case there’s any overflow, bleed them until the air has escaped and Bob’s your uncle!

Don’t let your pipes and drains cause you problems this winter – think ahead and you shouldn’t have to worry about emergency call-outs or unpleasant chores!

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Fire and Smoke Alarm Systems for the Home

Fire and Smoke Alarm Systems for the Home

According to Fire and Rescue Service, about 270 people die in fire accidents each year. At this age, it is surprising that there are still homes without smoke, heat or fire detectors in their homes. There are many types of fire alarm systems ranging from simple and cheap systems to very complicated and expensive systems. With a broad range of choices, it is unthinkable why certain homes give this device little importance. Let us take a sweeping review of the different types of fire alarm systems.

Automatic alarm systems are designed to detect unwanted presence of fire, or anything that denotes its presence such as heat, smoke, or carbon monoxide. It is also designed to notify the building or home occupants for prompt action or evacuation in such event as well as to control its spread.

There are different types of alarm systems. Usually, small homes have simple types and components compared to bigger homes and commercial buildings. More complicated and monitored systems are expensive which makes them unsuitable for most homes. Palatial and opulent homes as well as commercial establishments that house and are frequented by a huge number of people often use systems that consist of hard-wired fire alarms connected to an alarm panel aside from the fire alarm boxes that can be manually operated.

The different types of fire and smoke alarm systems may be classified according to the type of wires used:

1. Hard wired fire alarm is wired into the structure of a building, more expensive to install, and are best suited to new buildings;

2. Wireless fire alarm system is easy and cheap to install and are also ideal for multiple buildings; and

3. Optical fire alarms are good for detecting slow fires that is equipped with a laser light that triggers the alarm.

On the other hand, the main types of fire and smoke alarm systems are:

1. Photoelectric alarm are battery powered that rely and monitors visible particles from flames. When there are enough particles in the chamber, these block waves are transmitted to a receiver that sets off a switch to the beeping alarm.

2. Thermal fire alarms are sensitive to heat using a sensor. When the sensor is heated, there will be a change in conductivity that triggers the alarm.

3. Ionization fire alarms detect the smoke that emanates from the fire. It uses a radioactive material. With contact with the smoke, conductivity ions are created that completes the electricity circuit that sets off the alarm.

4. Manual alarms require the pulling of a handle to sound off the alarm. These are mounted on walls of buildings for whoever sees fire or billows of smoke that signifies fire.

5. Interconnected Fire Alarms are usually found in big buildings. Once one alarm goes off, they all go off one after the other to warn building occupants about the pending dangers of a fire or emergency.

Fires can raze properties to the ground. Its fumes alone can kill people. Fire alarm systems are important security devices that every home and building must have not only to protect the property but the lives of its residents and occupants as well.

Fire and Smoke Alarm Systems for the Home

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DIY Burglary Prevention: Home Improvements to Outsmart Burglars

 

According to the crime statistics from the FBI Uniform Crime Report, more than 240 burglaries occurred every hour in the United States just a few years ago. That averages to one burglary every 14.6 seconds. Don’t think you’re at risk because you live in a safe suburban neighborhood or rural area? Think again. The shocking truth is that few burglaries are the work of professional thieves like you see in the movies. Instead, the majority of burglars are actually teenage boys who live within a few miles of targeted homes, according to the Washington Post. Here are a few home improvement projects you can complete to safeguard your home from a break-in:

Make your home burglary proof

Make Exterior Doors Kick-Proof

A recent article in the Washington Post reported that the number one entry point of burglars is the front door, so take extra caution to ensure that your front door is sturdy and secure. The home security experts at Consumer Reports tested an assortment of the strongest doors, including steel, solid-wood and fiberglass doors. They found that no matter how strong the door itself was, all doors eventually failed due to weakness where the strike plate of the door’s lock meets the doorjamb.

Correct this vulnerability by easily reinforcing the lock with a metal strike box and getting a deadbolt lock that’s at least an inch long. For additional stability, use 3-inch-long screws to securely mount the strike box, lodging the screws into the wood framing beyond the doorjamb.

Reinforce Windows

While the front door is the number one burglar entry point, the first-floor windows come in a close second at 23 percent, according to the Washington Post. Add an additional lock to every window for premium security. You can find most types of window locks, such as key track stops and deadbolt-like locks, at your local hardware store for less than $10. It’s also beneficial to reinforce the glass with security film to make it shatterproof. 3M manufactures a variety of security film products that meet a range of needs for affordable prices.

Install an Alarm System

According to LifeShield, homes with an alarm system are three times less likely to fall victim to burglary than those that don’t have a home security system. If you’re restricted to a budget, opt for a do-it-yourself alarm system that doesn’t require professional installation. Most DIY alarms can be installed with a few basic tools in an hour or two.

Update Landscaping

Assess your landscaping and look for places where a burglar could sneak around your property undetected. If you have tall hedges or a lot of dense trees that create hiding spots and block your view of the street, your landscaping could be doing more harm than good. While privacy may be a top priority to you, it’s really advantageous to thieves because tree and hedges shield unwanted, dangerous visitors from the prying eyes of neighbors and passersby.

Trim back all trees so they don’t block windows or doors. Groom bushes and hedges to be no higher than waist-height. Add ample motion-sensored lighting for extra protection.

image via http://homesecurity.honeywell.com