Isolating at home? Now’s the time to make home safe. Colac mortgage brokers explain how

Posted on 16/04/2020 by Andrew Morris in Finance, Mortgage Broking
Andrew Morris
Andrew joined Sinclair Wilson in May 2017 as Mortgage Broker, having spent the past 10 years in the banking industry. With a small business background - in hospitality, no less...

With Coronavirus forcing many of us to slow down and work from home, it’s a good opportunity to reassess how safe our properties are. Here are some tips that should keep you occupied through these isolation months, and well prepared for the colder weather that’s sure to come.

Protecting against flooding

  • Check with your council if your home is in a flood-prone area.
  • Ensure all windows and doors are secure. Ideally there should be no gaps that will let water inside in the event of heavy rainfall.
  • Seal any cracks in your foundation, windows, walls or doorways.
  • Check your gutters and downpipes are clear of leaves and debris (or have a handyman do it for you).
  • Keep electrical components and switches raised.
  • Consider investing in a flood sensor and a battery-operated sump pump (to pump water outside in the event of flooding).

Protecting against wild weather

  • Ensure doors can be firmly secured, preferably with barrel bolts.
  • Check your roof and fasten any loose tiles or sheets of metal with screws or clips.
  • Assess how secure your windows are. Do you need mesh screens? Bolted shutters? Shatterproof glass? You may consider these if you live in cyclone-prone areas.
  • Trim branches around your property.
  • Clear gutters of leaves and debris.
  • Clear your outdoor area of any items which could become airborne.

Protecting against fire

  • Mow your lawn regularly.
  • Keep gutters clear.
  • Remove flammable items from decks and verandas. Store away from the property.
  • Consider having pebbles or rocks in your garden, rather than flammable mulch.
  • Seal sub-floors.
  • Consider the integrity of your windows. Use fire shutters or toughened glass for added protection.
  • Test your smoke detectors frequently.
  • Inspect heaters and ensure they are well away from anything combustible.
  • Change heater and air conditioning filters regularly.
  • Keep the stove and oven clear of anything that could cause a fire.
  • If you use a clothes dryer, remember to clean the lint filter after every load.
  • Dispose of faulty electrical cords.
  • Store flammable products correctly.
  • Maintain the fireplace and have the chimney professionally cleaned.

Protecting against burglary

  • Ensure all windows and doors can be securely locked.
  • Check entries to the property for weaknesses due to weather or age. Fix any issues.
  • Cut back hedges, trees or vegetation that could provide cover for an intruder.
  • Put away any tools, ladders or other equipment that could be used by an intruder to break into your property.
  • If you have a shed or side gates, ensure they’re locked if you leave the property.
  • Invest in a smart security camera to deter thieves. Here’s an example for $69 with infrared night vision, motion detection and instant mobile alerts.
  • Consider putting up a ‘beware of the dog’ sign – irrespective of whether you own a furry family member or not.
  • Install security sensor lights.
  • The most popular items to steal include cash, laptops, jewellery, cameras, phones, wallets/handbags. Don’t leave these items lying around.
  • Test your home alarm system if you have one. If you don’t, consider getting one.

Don’t forget to check your insurance

One of the most important things you should do is check whether you’re adequately insured. Find out if you’re covered for things like weather events, fires and burglary, and to what extent.

If you’d like to know more about insurance, please get in touch

Wondering what steps might be next? 

Now your home is secure, it might also be a good time to look at either refinancing, or even upgrading (or downsizing!). Talk to us about what your next steps might be.