How many times do you paint a picture of your destroyed home in your head? Almost never! While you would like to believe your home in the UAE is the perfect blend of warmth, comfort and joy that you wished it to be, is it also just as safe and protected as it should be?
According to Sameh Hafez, VP – Customer Proposition & High Net Worth at Oman Insurance Company, the most common causes for home insurance claims originating in the UAE are water damage, fire, and loss or damage to valuables by accident or theft.
How well do you know these common safety hazards lurking in your home?
Were you distracted by your favourite TV show and left the stove unattended or was it an appliance that you forgot to unplug while running late for work? No matter how small the negligence, what’s bigger is the repercussions that follow.
With the huge number of potential hazards present in the house that can ignite and spread a fire, it comes as no surprise that fire is counted in the top risks that your house needs protection against. For all you know, you might be sitting next to a fire hazard or making it worse by your actions.
Stoves and cooking stations are also dangerous, if not maintained or installed correctly. The same goes for old and worn out appliances, shoddy wiring, electrical cords and connections that are capable of causing a fire with just a spark. From balcony barbecues to sheesha coal, burning candles and indoor smoking, the lesser known hazards are just as alarming.
It’s also important to make sure that all efforts are directed towards minimizing the impact of such fire-related incidents. You should frequently check to ensure the smoke detectors and fire extinguishers in your home are functional at all times.
Water, a hazard? You probably wouldn’t take it seriously, especially with little or no rains in the UAE. But even the most minor malfunctions such as leakages, wear and tear or structural damage can result in flooding and pose a serious hazard to the safety of your home. And if you leave these hazards unattended, then you have bigger problems to deal with – Greater damage to property as well as various health-related problems.
Watch out for red flags such as stained walls, bulgy ceilings, blocked drains, rusty pipes and fittings, etc. all of which need to be addressed without delay. If your appliances such as washing machines, refrigerators, water heaters and air conditioners are malfunctioning or leaking, it’s time to call your building maintenance right away.
Despite UAE being one of the safest cities in the world, you cannot completely rule out the possibility of a theft or robbery. Only last November, Dubai Police arrested a gang involved in villa thefts in Fujairah and other emirates, and six people were arrested for car thefts in Dubai this February. This calls for a more responsible attitude towards your house and valuables, especially when flying out on a long holiday. Inform trust-worthy neighbours if you’re going to be out of town for a while, secure all windows and doors before leaving and make sure to park your car in a safe spot. It’s always advisable to store valuables in a safe or a bank locker, more so if you think your building doesn’t have a security guard or a residents-only access.
In addition to regular maintenance, you’ll want to protect your home with a home insurance plan. With all that effort that you put into building a home away from home in the UAE, you are only one step away from safeguarding your home and its contents in case of unfortunate events such as fire, flood or theft. Home contents insurance not just covers your losses but is also a must-have for complete peace of mind.