Get your geyser and generator ready for winter

By: Mandy Barrett of insurance brokerage and risk advisors, Aon South Africa

Summer has officially left the building and autumn is letting us know that the cold and potentially icy temperatures are a matter of weeks away.  It’s the perfect time of year to examine your geyser and generator to ensure that vital maintenance and repairs are done to ensure safety at home.

Mandy Barrett of insurance brokerage and risk advisors, Aon South Africa recommends that you take advantage of the time you have now to prepare for the ensuing cold and any unexpected emergencies this winter.

Geyser

  • Cold winter temperatures and burst geysers and pipes go together like salt and pepper.  Insulation is always a good idea for your geyser and water pipes.  Use a geyser blanket to insulate your geyser and lagging on the exposed water pipes in your roof – not only does this protect against a sharp drop in temperature which can cause a burst pipe or geyser, but it will also save you money in the long run as water will stay hotter for longer, saving on electricity costs.
  • Service your geyser and check that all the seals, valves, stop-cock, thermostat and element are in good working order.  Make sure that your drip tray is correctly installed and placed – should you experience a burst geyser – the drip dray will help channel the escaping water to outside your roof, saving on ceiling damage – a stitch in time save nine.

Generators:  

  • With the cold comes the possibility of power outages as demand on the electricity grid increases.  Make sure your generator is professionally installed by a qualified electrician and get a COC for the installation.  Also confirm that your generator has a transfer switch to ensure that you can safely switch between electricity from the grid and from the generator when required.
  • Make sure that your generator is installed in a well-ventilated location as it emits deadly toxic gases and should never be utilised indoors.
  • If you are storing back-up fuel for your generator, make sure you are using appropriate containers that are clearly marked, well out of reach of children and stored in a sensible location.