Federation of Master Builders Fireplace

Keep your home cosy this Christmas

Imagine if your boiler broke a few days before Christmas? The last thing you want is to be left without heating over Christmas, so make sure your boiler has been serviced well ahead of the big day. Have your boiler serviced by a Gas Safe Registered engineer to make sure it’s all working correctly and you won’t be left without heating at any stage.

If you’re planning on keeping cosy in a more traditional way this Christmas or just want to roast some chestnuts on an open fire, make sure you have had your chimney swept. You should do this once a year to avoid chimney fires, smoke damage and carbon monoxide poisoning. A fire or wood burning stove can certainly create the perfect cosy Christmas atmosphere!

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Going away over the Christmas period

If you’re going away over the festive period, be sure to leave the heating on low if you’re going away to prevent pipes from bursting in very cold weather. Because water will be continuously flowing, keeping the heating on low will help to prevent water still in the pipes from freezing. It is recommended to leave the heating permanently on and set to at least 13°C throughout winter.

Christmas is one of the busiest times of year for burglars, indeed, home insurance claims always rise in January following December thefts. We are encouraging all homeowners to check the security of their homes to reduce the likelihood of a break in while you’re away visiting family and friends. Ensure the exterior of your home is well-lit and you have a movement sensor light. With the longer nights drawing in, burglars have more opportunities to strike under the cover of darkness. You may also consider a timer light sequence when you are away. Be sure to keep windows and doors secure, a year round essential, not just during the festive season.

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Avoid a Christmas fire

At Christmas most households deck the halls with… fairy lights, and lots of them! However pretty, fairy lights are a fire hazard. You should check your fairy lights carry the British Safety Standard sign. Be sure to turn them off when you’re out of the house, and when you go to bed. Take extra care when lighting candles and flammable Christmas decorations. Dry Christmas trees, decorations and wrapped presents provide the perfect environment for a fire to spread in the home.

 

Keep your presents safe

The Met Police have said ‘Expensive presents on show under the tree are a welcoming invitation for burglars so try keeping presents out of sight…don’t leave any boxes or packaging outside your home advertising any new and expensive items inside”.

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Keep your holiday plans offline

If you are planning a holiday over the festive season, ensure that you keep your travel plans off your social media networks. Although you might be tempted to post a photo of you on the ski slopes or a snap of you and your loved ones getting some winter sun, try not to post about your holiday, when you are going, when you are leaving, or when you will be back. For a burglar, this is prime information to know when your home will be empty. Even if you have the highest-level of security on your Facebook or Twitter accounts, posting this personal information is very risky.