A home may be built for life – but that doesn’t mean it’s built to last a lifetime.
Be it aging appliances, worn out furniture or bad habits, breakdowns occur. And, it can lead to serious issues (read: fire, flooding, electrical explosions) if left unchecked.
Thankfully, a little prep work goes a long way in keeping these hazards at bay! From quick maintenance checks to small lifestyle changes, home contents insurer, MSIG, shares some easy tweaks to keep your home in tip-top condition – preventing unwanted mishaps (and as a result, costly repairs) from happening.
To Prevent Fires:
- Move flammable products away from sunlight/heat
If sunlight alone is enough to fry eggs and give you a nasty sunburn, it can definitely ignite your flammable products like alcohol or make-up. Make the rounds about your house, and check that all of them are placed in a cool, dim space away from direct sunlight or heat sources.
Interior designer: Ark Interior
- Don’t tuck wires underneath carpets
Full of combustible fibre and lint, fabric carpets/rugs are a fire hazard waiting to be kindled. While tucking wires underneath helps to keep things neat, it also increases the chance of you stepping or crushing them, causing frays which could lead to sparks – and fire.
- Maintain your laundry dryer
Electrical sparks + lint + static = a deadly combination. Clean your dryer’s lint trap after each drying cycle, and clean your vents and exhaust ducts regularly. Alternatively, have it professionally cleaned every 1 – 3 years; this will also help to maintain the machine’s efficiency!
Interior designer: Starry Homestead
- Clean your stovetop
The grease that accumulates on your stovetops could potentially spell disaster, as it could catch fire when the stove is turned on. Wipe it up after every cooking session.
- Get a fire extinguisher
Though smoke alarms will be mandatory in all new homes built from June 2018, having a fire extinguisher handy will help to keep any accidental fires in check – and reduce the amount of damages made.
To Prevent Water Damage or Flooding
- Replace your washing machine hose every 5 years
Washing machine hoses are susceptible to breakage when squeezed into a small corner. Check for any leaks and replace hoses immediately if there are any cracks. Otherwise, replace it every 5 years for optimal performance.
Interior designer: ProjectGuru
- Clean your air-conditioner filters every 1-2 months
Dirty air-con filters can block the air flow within the unit, causing evaporator coils inside to freeze over time and form ice. In turn, heat from the outside can cause the coil to condense – leading to leaks! So, give those filters a thorough wash every month to ensure this doesn’t happen.
Interior designer: Minutiae
- Check grout and caulking about your tiles or sanitary ware
Over time, grout and caulking in wet areas can erode or become damaged due to wear. If left unattended, this can lead to water permeating and damaging your tiles, floors and walls! Inspect it regularly, and get a waterproof silicon sealer to fix any gaps.
- Clean your pipes regularly
Reduce the risk of choked pipes by running hot water down your sinks/pipe hole to prevent grease or gunk from sticking, or pour down a mixture of baking soda and hot water to cleanse and keep odours at bay.
To Prevent Electrical Explosions
- Test your circuit breaker every month
Besides causing fires, electrical leaks can also cause deadly shocks. Thankfully, every home has an in-built Residual Current Circuit Breaker which shuts off the electrical supply once it detects a leak. Check that it’s working regularly by pressing the test button on its panel.
Interior designer: Fineline Design
- Get a surge protector for multiple electrical plugs
Extension plugs do not come with any protective mechanisms to prevent electrical trips/shocks when too many electrical items are plugged in at once. Surge protectors however, do the trick by shutting off the moment it is overloaded – reducing the risk of fires or electrical explosions.
- Check for frayed wires
Likewise, do a spot check about the house. Make sure none of your electrical cables are bent at unnatural angles by furniture or crushed, as that could cause it to fray more easily.
- Check that you’re using light bulbs with the right wattage
Just because it fits, doesn’t mean it works. Avoid using light bulbs with a higher wattage than what your socket can handle, as this could lead to overheating and (boom) fires.
Interior designer: The Roomakers
- Make sure to buy electronics and appliances with the Safety Mark
It may be tempting to get that gorgeous lamp or cheap appliance online, but do remember to check if these items have been awarded the Safety Mark before buying! Proof that the product has passed through various safety tests, it’ll greatly reduce the risk of sudden electrical malfunctions, explosions or fires.
But ultimately, there’s only so much you can do to protect your home.
Sometimes, accidents strike – in the most unlikely of places and times. Unlike typical fire insurance which only covers your home’s structure, MSIG’s Enhanced HomePlus home contents insurance saves you the worry (and hassle) of repairs and recovery with well-rounded protection and extensive coverage for all the things that matter inside your home.
The plan covers:
- Up to $270,000^ for your home’s contents, including renovation, household items and personal belongings from a wide range of risks, such as fires, water damage from burst or overflowing pipes, explosions, burglaries and more.
- Coverage for alternative accommodation up to $27,000^.
- Additional coverage that extends to accidental breakage of mirrors/glass, death of pets and even fraud by domestic helpers.
^For Enhanced HomePlus Ultimate
Interior designer: Luova Project Services
No more messy paperwork too. Homeowners can simply submit their property or liability claims online. Plus, customers get access to MSIG’s 24-hour helpline, which provides convenient support and contacts for a variety of home emergency services, like locksmiths, plumbers and electricians.
For a breakdown on plan types and to purchase, visit MSIG’s Enhanced HomePlus web page here.
Safeguard your home and be rewarded in the process. From now till 31 December 2018, purchase a MSIG Enhanced HomePlus plan, and receive up to $50* worth of shopping vouchers!
- Enhanced HomePlus Ultimate: $50 worth of shopping vouchers*
- Enhanced HomePlus Superior: $30 worth of shopping vouchers*
*Terms and conditions apply. Visit MSIG’s Enhanced HomePlus web page for more details.