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Daylight Savings Checks

How to prepare your home for a comfortable winter

 

Nothing says “winter’s on the way” like putting the clocks back an hour at the end of Daylight Saving.

After you’ve changed the clocks, it's time to get your home ready for the colder months with a few extra checks too.

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testing smoke alarm

Keep safe

Check your home smoke alarms. Vacuum or dust them to remove any debris and press the test button to check the alarm is working. The sounds should be strong and continuous, if not, change the batteries and test it again, or buy a new unit if needed. All smoke alarms only have a limited service life of 10 years.

The New Zealand Fire Service recommends long-life photoelectric smoke alarms. PDL’s FireTek smoke alarms sound an 85-decibel siren when smoke is detected and can be interconnected (hardwired), so if one alarm detects smoke then they’ll all activate. Consider for a moment if you have enough alarms throughout your house, the NZ Fire Service recommends having an alarm in every bedroom, hallway and living area. This is especially important if you have recently moved into a new house, renovated, extended your home or repurposed a room.

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ceiling fan

Optimise airflow

Good airflow and fresh air is an important element in keeping your home healthy during winter. Clean grids and vents to maximise airflow in kitchens, bathrooms and laundries and ensure optimum air quality throughout your house. Clean your ceiling fans and turn them to ‘winter mode’ which reverses the fan’s direction, so that it draws warm air up and redistributes it throughout the room.

If you live in a high rainfall area or condensation on your windows become visible, consider investing in a dehumidifier. Dehumidifiers help clean the air and remove moisture, which in turn reduce mildew and mould throughout the home.

Heating

Dust or vacuum heater grills to remove any built-up dust or debris. Check the cables and plugs on your electric heaters and electric blankets to make sure it is undamaged. Cables shouldn’t be stored twisted or bent as this can damage the wires inside and cause arcing, which is one of the most common causes of electrical fires.

switchboard

For peace of mind, talk to your electrician about adding the right kind of circuit protection to your switchboard. Arc Fault Detection Devices (AFDDs) detect arc faults and shut down the affected circuit to help prevent fire.

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Iconic usb charger

Power it up

Do a thorough audit of the number of devices currently plugged into each power point. Are any powerboards overloaded? Are there any instances where multiple powerboards are plugged into each other? Are all the cables and plugs undamaged and in good working order?

It’s a good time to review whether you need to add more power points. Talk to your electrician about adding additional power points like those in the PDL Iconic range that incorporate USB options for charging phones and tablets easily.

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Lighting check

Check that all the lights inside and outside your house are working, particularly in darker areas such as stairwells, hallways and driveways. Add sensor floodlights or wall lights outside your home to enhance comfort and security, and it will have the added benefit of making your home look warm and inviting.

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nightwalk in bedroom

Consider adding nightlights inside, or motion sensors to provide a safer environment for late-night snackers and bathroom visitors. Think about switching to LED lighting to save power, and therefore money, too.

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lighting near house

Weather the storms

Protect your appliances and electronic equipment from lightning strikes, power surges and voltage strikes with a surge protection device. If you live in a rural area or somewhere that interrupted power supplies can be frequent, then adding back-up power solutions helps to ensure your home stays connected during whatever winter brings.

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wiserbyse app

Home Safety Checklist

We've put together a handy checklist to help you ensure your home's electrical safety is up to date.

Download checklist (PDF 1.9MB)