GIG Gulf, the first regional insurer provides a wide range of insurance policies for individuals is offering some helpful advice to protect your possessions during winter season.
Winter can be the most wonderful season of the year, as long as you stay safe. Despite the UAE generally being a safe country, it is advisable to take necessary precautions before winter in order to protect your property and enjoy your holiday travelling without any worries.
Following are some of the key considerations you need to bear in mind before flying out for your holiday during winter.
FIRE: According to the Dubai Civil Defence Service, the most common cause of fires is electrical. Ideally, look at turning off your electricity at the mains before you go but if this isn’t possible then turn off and unplug everything you possibly can. This is also a great time to check the batteries on smoke alarms and you may also wish to consider upgrading to a smart smoke detector that can send you text or email alerts whenever it senses danger.
WATER: If the water is left on while your property is empty, there is always a chance that water may escape through leaks or burst pipes, causing considerable damage to your home and the contents within. As many unoccupied properties are likely to be left unattended over the festive period for several weeks, any leak could go undetected for a long period of time.
Before leaving your home, ensure that the water is either shut off at the main stopcock, or potentially look into fitting leak control valves that detect drops in water pressure and automatically shut off water flow as a precaution.
DETER THIEVES: Check that exterior lights are working, install working deadbolts on exterior doors, and make sure all windows are securely locked. Enhance the vacant property's security by adding motion-sensor lights and entry alarms. Close the curtains and blinds to prevent people from seeing in and consider using timers for lights.
Never leave valuables in plain sight as it acts as an advertisement to potential thieves. Also consider getting a safe professionally installed. Make sure all doors and windows are locked, and store your keys in a safe place and ensure they are never left in the locks. Documents are invaluable and will be targeted too if not locked away.
INFESTATION: Before leaving your property, ensure that everything that could encourage insects or vermin to visit your home has been disposed of. Make sure all doors and windows are closed and that seals are in place and intact. Ensure that any food is properly stored, and dispose of any with a short lifespan.
NEIGHBOURS: Enlist the help of your neighbours or friends. Ask them to alert you to any concerns and occasionally park in the driveway to help make your home seem occupied. We also encourage citizens and all Dubai residents to register for the Dubai Police home security service through its website - Dubai Police website - by clicking on the home safety section or via their app.
And don’t forget to take care of gifts you haven’t received yet. Thieves are likely to strike when there is a delivery or other package left unguarded on the doorstep. Consider adding a doorbell cam or other outdoor security cameras to help deter ‘porch pirates’ or ask neighbours to take delivery of parcels on your behalf.