With the holiday season tantalisingly close, it won’t be long before many of us flock to the beach or regional Australia for a well-earned summer break! Unfortunately, we see the incidence of preventable property damage peak over the holiday period. Whether you are an owner-occupier, an investment property or holiday home owner, there are simple things you can do to help keep your property safe and secure while you’re away.
- Reduce risks associated with heavy rain and storms
Heavy rain can cause major damage if water is left to gather over time. Before you leave the property, be sure to:
- remove dirt and debris from gutters and downpipes – consider metal leaf guards if the property is in a bushfire area
- safely check the roof is well-maintained and water-tight
- Inspect the foundations – check for any cracks or gaps
- Identify any dark or wet spots, cracking, bubbling, or flaking of paint or plaster in the property. A damp, musty or mouldy smell can indicate a problem
- Check your garden for dead or diseased trees – strong winds can uproot trees and cause branches to fall, leading to property damage and human injury
- Pack away or secure your outdoor furniture to prevent damage.
For more information about reducing the risks of water damage, take a look at our article Strata risk on the rise: The dangers of water damage & how to stay protected.
- Disconnect non-essential electrical appliances & IT equipment – check power boards too
Ensure check power boards aren’t overloaded and inspect cords and plugs for damage. Place power boards on their sides to prevent dust from collecting in unused plugs.
- Ensure gas appliances, heaters and stoves are switched off and turn gas off at the mains if you’re away for an extended period
- Secure doors and windows
Last year, more than 230,000 Australian households experienced a break in, with a further 180,000 attempted break-ins (not to mention those resulting in property damage). Make sure your doors and windows close securely and the locks are in good working order. Don’t forget about sheds and garages too.
- Are you bushfire-ready?
If the property is within a bushfire prone area, there are actions you can take to reduce risk such as clearing vegetation, mowing the lawn, and installing fine steel wire mesh screens on windows, doors and vents. For more information, visit your state or territory fire agency’s website.
Client Manager – Strata Insurance & Risk Solutions