Friday 7 October 2016

Finance Fridays - Dealing with domestic emergencies

We were looking at the gift voucher buying and selling site Zeek for last week's Finance Fridays. For this week we are talking about the things we all dread – domestic emergencies. They are impossible to plan for in terms of timing but it's worth getting together a list of trusted suppliers who will come and help you out.

I've listed some of the most common household emergencies so think about getting names and details of companies you know you can go to. Without a list you can panic and simply do a quick internet search and pick whoever comes out top. They may not be the cheapest – many have expensive call-out charges – or provide the best service. Keep the list to hand in your house but also keep one on your mobile as you never know when you might find yourself locked out of your own house!

Replacement keys – Most people will think about their front door key when it comes to lost keys. Some people will keep a spare hidden in their garden but for security and insurance purposes I wouldn't recommend this so get details of a locksmith. After working in large offices for many years I know how often replacement keys for office furniture were needed. Whether you work from home or just have a filing cabinet in the garage that vital key is never where you thought you left it last.

Computers – We rely so much these days on our smart phones and tablets. Most of the information on these will be backed up to a cloud service of some kind. When it comes to laptops and desktop computers this may not be the case. Try to get into the habit of backing up each night to an external hard drive. If your computer still has information on it you can't access you'll need a data recovery specialist.

Plumbers – With winter on its way burst pipes will come one of the most call-outs for plumbers. Make sure you lag outside taps but also think inside. People often forget about their lofts but this is where the cold water tank is usually sited. If you go away ensure your heating or hot water comes on during the day to heat through the pipes and also keep the loft hatch open. Even with these actions problems can occur and in particular broken boilers.

Electricians – Have you ever come home and tried to turn on the lights only to find they don't work? Usually it will be down to a power cut but if all your neighbours' lights are on it's time to call an electrician. Unless you are professionally qualified don't mess with electrical problems yourself unless you want to electrocute yourself or set fire to your home.

Alarms – We've all been infuriated by the sound of house alarms blaring out for ages. Sometimes it is genuinely due to the unfortunate occurrence of a burglary but usually it will be a fault. Some house alarms come with a service contract but others once they are installed are left to you to deal with if they go wrong.

Car – When you need to use your car most you will find it won't start. Cold weather brings with it the greater possibility of flat batteries. Make sure your car breakdown cover includes home start as some policies will only come out if your car is more than a ¼ mile from your house. It's also handy to have to hand someone who can sort out flat tyres.

Infestation – I don't want to get you scratching matter how clean your house is a pest infestation can happen to anyone. A friend of mine recently had her house infested with dog fleas after her daughter visited someone's house who had a number of dogs. Putting down a load of poison often doesn't work and is quite dangerous. Note down a number of someone who can deal with it before the problem spreads.

Have you ever had a domestic emergency? Did you know someone who could deal with it?

This is a collaborative post.

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  1. Argh we've just realised we have mice! It's infestation time of year....

  2. Going to give spare keys to a friend ASAP! Getting locked out here is extortionate!! Great tips, thank you!

  3. I am sitting in all day today waiting for a new washing machine to arrive, I have also noticed a mark on the ceiling in the spare room which is probably signs of a leak. This is such a useful post!

  4. We always keep an emergency fund for things like this. We also had a pipe burst just before we were due to sell our house so I'm very grateful my husband knew how to turn the pipes off!!

  5. We give our keys to a neighbour now after being charged a ridiculous amount in the past x

  6. We need to get our alarm fixed - don't know what the plumber did when he replaced the boiler but it doesn't work properly now

  7. I'm always so worried about locking myself out, I think I need to leave a key with someone!

  8. I have keys at my best friends. With everything else I have a little book with it all in,


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