10 Tips For Staying Safe In Your Park Home At Christmas
Staying safe in your park home at Christmas will help you to relax and enjoy the festivities. Here are some simple tips to make it easier.
- Outside lighting
Consider installing lights outside your park home, if you haven’t done so already. As the days shorten, you will find yourself in the dark earlier in the day and more often. There are many different types of outside lights, but battery or solar powered, free-standing LED lights are an easily installed and quick solution. Make sure they are firmly secured to the ground or to your park home exterior so that they don’t themselves become a hazard in high winds and stormy weather.
If you already have lights, check the batteries or power supply and clean them to ensure maximum illumination when you need it. Keep an adequate supply of spare batteries to guarantee an uninterrupted operation throughout the winter. In the event of snow, don’t forget to sweep it from your lights during the day.
A wind-up or battery-powered torch or lantern kept close to the door of your park home is also a good idea.
- Clear your paths
The last thing any of us want this Christmas (or any time) is to sustain an injury from a trip, a slip or a fall. Keep a shovel and rock salt or a non-salt de-icer (which is friendlier to plants and pets) close at hand so that you can quickly clear any driveways and paths to your park home. Remember to take your mobile phone with you on outside excursions so that should the worst happen, you can swiftly raise the alarm and get help.
It is a good idea as the weather gets colder to clean your path with a stiff brush and some oxygen bleach or dedicated moss and algae remover. This will lessen the chances of having to negotiate a dangerously slippery surface even when there is no ice or snow.
- Cut back overhanging trees
Even at this late stage, it is worth attending to any dangerously overhanging or damaged tree limbs before strong winds make them a real danger to you or your park home. Often your park management will be more than willing to help with this or at least to recommend a professional to help.
- Secure or store outside furniture
You may want to store away any free-standing furniture to avoid it becoming a danger in high winds. To protect the furniture itself, there are plenty of different outdoor furniture covers available from hardware outlets or online.
- Regularly check the roof and gutters of your park home
After any snow-fall, check the roof of your park home. Snow that is allowed to build up can present a problem because of its sheer weight. It can also lead to damp and frozen gutters. Roofing has been known to fail after consistent heavy snow fall that has not been cleared. A long-handled brush and a step ladder should be enough for you to reach where you need, but remember to not stand underneath the area you are clearing. Seek professional help, or help from neighbours, if you are not sure that you can carry this out safely yourself.
- Check your pipes
Christmas is the worst time to experience a burst pipe. Your pipes should be insulated to prevent bursting and leaks. Check that this is the case in your park home and if not, arrange as quickly as possible to have your pipes insulated. Pipes can be fitted with foam rubber or fibreglass sleeves to help decrease the chances of freezing.
Insulation, foam or insulating sleeves can help keep a pipe closer to the temperature of the water inside the pipe, but it does not add heat to the pipe and will not prevent freezing if the pipe is exposed to prolonged freezing temperatures. Heating cables can be installed to further protect against freezing pipes but make sure these are installed correctly according to the manufacturer’s recommendations.
If you are worried that a pipe is in danger of freezing be sure to open the tap that the pipe feeds. In the event of freezing inside the pipe, it is the pressure that builds up in the space between the frozen blockage and the tap that leads to a burst pipe. If you let the tap trickle gently, this can be avoided.
If you leave your park home for any length of time, then you may need to drain the water system. See our Park Home Insurance FAQs for more information.
- Fire safety in your park home
As you endeavour to keep warm this Christmas, make sure that you adhere as much as possible to sensible fire precautions. According to government advice, two fires a day are caused by heaters and 65 a year by faulty electric blankets.
Always unplug electric heaters when you go out or go to bed. Try to secure heaters against a wall to stop them falling over.
Only use gas or paraffin heaters in well-ventilated areas. Heaters consume oxygen so you could suffocate if a room is not properly aired.
Unplug electric blankets before you get into bed, unless they have a thermostat control for safe all-night use. Store electric blankets flat, rolled up or loosely folded to prevent damaging the internal wiring. Test electric blankets every three years and replace any electric blankets at ten years old.
If you use candles in the event of a power outage or as part of your Christmas traditions in your park home, make sure they are all safely extinguished before going to bed.
Finally, remember to tidy away and safely dispose of packaging and wrapping from gifts. This can present (no pun intended) a fire risk if a spark from a fire or faulty electrical socket should catch.
- Plan for possible power outages
As many of us in the UK have already seen with storm Arwen, power outages are a real possibility this year, especially in rural locations. Think about battery or solar-powered emergency lighting inside and outside your park home, if you have none installed already. Keep an ample supply of batteries and more than one torch. You may also want to consider a wind-up radio as a back-up connection to the outside world should extreme weather be the cause of the outage. A battery-powered or crank operated phone charger is also a good idea to allow you to raise the alarm and keep you connected until help arrives or power is restored.
- Food safety
Christmas is the season of left-overs and all-day eating. If food is left out for too long, it can become a health hazard as bacteria and other microbes flourish. Make sure to pack away, cover with cellophane or foil or pack in sealed containers and refrigerate any left-over morsels that you intend to have later. Anything else, dispose of in recycling bins and remove from your park home at the first opportunity.
A home emergency policy is designed to work alongside your household buildings and contents insurance policy. It is there to cover you for emergencies, such roof repairs or a boiler breakdown and does not relate to day-to-day maintenance of your home and its contents.
We hope these tips help you to have a safe and joy-filled Christmas and winter holiday in your park home. Remember to check your insurance policy as winter sets in so that in the event of an incident due to winter conditions, you can resolve the problem swiftly and easily. Call us if you have any questions about what is included in your park home cover.
This is a marketing article from Park Home Assist, multi award-winning providers of residential park home insurance. If you would like to speak to an advisor regarding insurance for your park home, please contact our friendly team in our Northampton office on 01604 946 796.
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