HOME SECURITY: Take a holiday in peace knowing your belongings will be safe.
Robberies tend to increase over the summer vacation period as families leave their homes and jet away to various exotic locations. Burglars will drive around suburbs and case out houses with telltale signs that residents have left for an extended period of time.

However Nathan Clayton, a security technician at Steady State Solutions, says there are easy ways to deter potential robbers from choosing your house as a target.

[list style=”square”][list_item]Make sure you don’t let your mail build up outside the house. This is a dead giveaway that you are on holiday. Ask neighbours or family to collect your mail while you’re away. Otherwise organise for it to be redirected until you return home.[/list_item][list_item]Try and avoid letting your garden become too overgrown. Leaving your grass uncut for a week won’t matter, however if you’re planning a month-long trip try and organise for a gardener to visit once or twice. Burglars will be on the look out for messy gardens, which signal owners might be out of town.[/list_item][list_item]Lock away your rubbish bins. Burglars often use bins as ladders, stacking them on top of each other to give them easy access to a window. If possible lock them away in the garage or keep them out the back of the house. Security is all about minimising burglars opportunities.[/list_item][list_item]For a long-term security solution consider installing an alarm system. A system that connects back to a base station is the most effective. This way if an alarm sounds the base station can contact the owners, or send out a guard. CCTV cameras are another option – these are effective as they act as a deterrent to potential burglars even before they enter a house. [/list_item][/list]


PERFECT YOUR POOL: Turn your green pool into a crystal clear swimmer’s paradise.
When the cold weather sets in the last thing on our minds is maintaining the pool. However as our pools come out of hibernation mode, these months of neglect might be reflected in the water quality. It’s pool time of year again, but many people are now being punished with green, algae-harbouring pool water.

Not only does this look bad, it’s also unhealthy to swim in. While the ideal solution is looking after our pools throughout winter, it’s a little late for that now. So Swimart pool cleaners have provided us with some easy ways to get our pools back in pristine condition.

[list style=”square”][list_item]The first thing to do is take a sample of your dirty pool water into a pool shop and have it tested. These tests will indicate whether you need to adjust the pH, calcium and total alkaline levels. Your local Swimart store provides this service for free.[/list_item][list_item]Check your chlorine levels. If below 0.5ppm you need to ‘shock’ the pool water with a large dose of chlorine to 10ppm. Ensure the filters are running and don’t use the pool until the chlorine level falls below 3ppm.[/list_item][list_item]Use a quality algaecide to kill algae. If you let algae get out of control it can cause ear, nose and throat probems so it’s important to get rid of any existing algae before taking a dip. Luckily it’s not difficult to kill![/list_item][list_item]Make sure your filter is working effectively. If your filter isn’t working then chances are your pool is going to remain in its murky, winter condition – no matter how much chlorine you throw at it. If you think there is a problem with your filter ask a Swimart technician to check.[/list_item][/list]


INSURING YOUR HOME: Don’t let yourself get caught out in the case of an unexpected event.
Home and contents insurance helps to provide the peace of mind that should your home suffer an unexpected event like a theft, storm, flood or fire, you will be financially protected.
However, insurance, or the lack thereof, is a significant issue for Australians. In fact, approximately 1.8 million households have no home or contents insurance. That’s 23 per cent of all Australian homes.

[list style=”square”][list_item]The recent October bushfires that occurred across the state and jumped into more suburban areas shows insurance is important no matter where you live. GIO tells us about what to consider before purchasing an insurance policy.[/list_item][list_item]When looking for a good home and contents insurance policy, there are three key things to consider: what is covered by the policy, the maximum the policy will pay-out if you need to make a claim and the cost of the policy – as well as any excess.[/list_item][list_item]Understanding what your policy covers is the key to purchasing a product that suits your needs, particularly if you live in an area that sees natural hazards, like fires, floods or severe storms, often. This will help avoid any surprises or confusion about what you’re insured for. The first thing you should do before purchasing a policy is to read the Product Disclosure Statement.[/list_item][list_item]Keep your home and contents well maintained and in good condition. Failure to do so can adversely affect a claim.[/list_item][/list]


BUSHFIRE SAFTEY: Make sure your home and family are fire-ready.
With this year’s bushfire season well under way, it’s vital to arm yourself with knowledge about how to prepare yourself, your family and your property in case anything happens.

Bushfires can still occur in suburban locations, and a well prepared home will give you more protection if a fire threatens suddenly and you cannot leave. NSW Rural Fire Service have provided some simple solutions on how to equip your property with the necessary provisions to arm it against the threat of bushfires.

[list style=”square”][list_item]Cut back overhanging trees and clear any leaves from the roof, gutter and downpipes of your property.[/list_item][list_item]Consider installing non-combustible fences as they’re the most useful for withstanding intense heat.[/list_item][list_item]Make sure to store wood piles and keep mulch away from the house as much as possible.[/list_item][list_item]Close doors, windows, vents, blinds and curtains to prevent flames and smoke from entering the house.[/list_item][list_item]Fill gutters with sand, and items such as baths, or sinks with water for putting out any fires that might start indoors.[/list_item][/list]