Here are a few things you can do to secure your home before leaving for vacation:
- Contact your concierge to have your water supply turned off till you are back. This will prevent any leaks that could damage your property.
- Ask a trusted neighbour to keep an eye on your home while you’re away.
- Secure your home effectively; close and lock all windows and doors.
- Discontinue newspaper subscriptions and deliveries to your home.
- Give a key to a trusted friend or neighbour so they can check your apartment periodically.
- Do not leave unsecured items on your balcony/terrace that can be easily removed.
- If you have a burglar or intrusion alarm, activate it.
- Secure all valuables and cash in an approved and securely fastened safe.
- Unplug all unnecessary appliances such as televisions, stereos and personal computers (take care not to turn off the power to any alarm systems).
- Unplug or turn off the ringer on all telephones and answering machines.
It’s crucial that you take precautions to ensure your home is always protected against fire hazards:
- Conduct regular maintenance of the smoke/heat detectors within your apartment.
- Refrain from smoking in non-designated areas.
- Never throw cigarette butts from your balcony.
- Do not dispose of flammable materials (including cigarette butts) down the garbage chute.
- Do not barbecue or smoke shisha at your balcony.
- Never store flammable liquids/materials in your allocated parking in the basements or on balconies.
- Familiarise yourself with the evacuation plans in your building.
- Ensure you take part in the annual fire drill conducted in your building.
- Never obstruct fire doors or attempt to keep fire doors open.
- Never allow children to access fire equipment cupboards or tamper with emergency equipment and signs.
Did you know? It is an offense punishable by law if your detectors are not working properly or they have been obstructed, as this poses a risk to the entire community.
Here are a few steps to ensure your air-conditioner is working flawlessly all year round:
- Ensure that you service your air-conditioning unit at least once a year.
- Enlist only qualified air-conditioning service personnel.
- Ensure that clogged/dirty filters are routinely cleaned or replaced.
- Clean and flush the unit’s drain line regularly to prevent excess moisture.
- Keep external doors and windows closed.
- Keep windows, which are exposed to the sun, shaded by using internal blinds or curtains.
- Make sure you go through the energy-saving factsheet for more information. Read it now.
Keep your home pest-free by following a few simple steps:
- Carry out pest control treatment periodically within your home.
- Do not leave food crumbs and unsealed edible items around your home.
- Do not leave empty cardboard boxes under beds or around your home.
- Enlist only Dubai Municipality approved service providers to carry out pest control.
Here are a few guidelines to ensure your pets never become a nuisance in the community:
- All dogs must be kept on a leash when not within the boundary walls of your property.
- Any dog mess deposited on the community must be promptly removed and disposed of in a sanitary manner by the dog handler.
- All pets must wear appropriate identification tags at all times when outdoors.
- No animal shall be permitted to make an unreasonable amount of noise, or to become a nuisance.
- Owners must ensure that pets do not urinate on the community walls.
- Owners whose pets are found leaving a mess in public areas may be issued a Notice of Violation and a fine – even if they were not handling the pet at the time.
Here are some useful tips to help you and your little ones stay safe in the community pool:
- Never leave babies or children alone or in the care of another child, while in or near pools.
- Do not leave any pool toys in the water as a child could fall in while trying to retrieve them.
- Consuming alcohol at a public swimming pool is against the law.
- If you have any illness or infection (such as a cold, sore throat, diarrhoea), please refrain from entering the pool to prevent spreading the disease.
- Take children on bathroom breaks every 60 minutes or check diapers every 30 to 60 minutes.
- Shower with soap before you start swimming (then rinse yourself under the shower at the pool before you swim).
Home fixes and lifestyle tips
One of the windows in my home is stuck – how do I open it without damaging it?
Use a plastic knife or a putty knife to gently score the line between your window and the frame, applying gradual pressure to prise the window open. Once the window is open, apply a thin layer of para‑n wax – if you don’t have wax, rub soap around the edges.
I’m getting a musty odour in my home. How do I get rid of it?
A musty smell is generally associated with the presence of mold, when humidity is higher.
- Inspect all pipes for leaks. If you find damp spots around the house, call a reliable plumber to take a look.
- If you’ve been away, the drain pipes may have dried up allowing sewage gases to seep into your home. Pour water down all drains if the odour seems to be coming from them.
- Setting your air-conditioning to low in the summer can cause excessive condensation in the inner walls, leading to mold growth in and around the duct chambers. If the odour is coming from the AC vents, call a reliable service provider to inspect the vents.
- Indoor plants can release odours as they rot if they have been overwatered or not been tended to. Prune any rotting parts of your indoor plants.
How do I fix a dripping tap?
- After shutting off the main valve, take off the handle’s cap and unscrew the bolt beneath it.
- Now remove the tap handle and inspect the washer at the bottom – if it looks worn out, replace it and reassemble the tap.
- If this doesn’t stop the dripping, one of the pipe gaskets may need replacement; call a reliable service provider to handle this.
My bathroom exhaust fan’s blades spin too slowly. How do I increase the speed?
The location of the exhaust fan, along with exposure to heat and moisture can cause dust to stick to the blades, weighing it down and hampering proper operation. Clean the fan periodically by running the nozzle of your vacuum over the grills of the exhaust outlet. If performance does not improve, call a reliable electrician.
I’m unable to slide my balcony doors easily. How do I make them glide smoothly?
- Clean the balcony door’s metal tracks with a toothbrush to remove any accumulated dust and grime.
- Once the debris have broken free of the tracks, vacuum and spray the surface with a silicone based lubricant (available at hardware stores).
- If you’re still having difficulty moving the doors, call a reliable service provider to investigate.
The circuit breaker in my home keeps tripping. What can I do to stop it?
If your circuit breaker repeatedly trips, remember that it is a safety device and this is an indicator that something in your home isn’t running within the recommended load.
- Inspect all your electrical devices for frayed wiring or contact pins that may have loosened.
- If you’re running many high-wattage appliances on the same circuit, it could be overloading the outlet – plug them to other outlets or move them to a different room.
- If you saw sparks when the circuit tripped, a short circuit could be the cause. It is highly recommended that you call a certified electrician to investigate if this is the case.
Mildew spots keep appearing on my bathroom grouting. How can I put a stop to this?
Areas that trap high levels of humidity and heat provide ideal conditions for mildew to develop. Ensure that your bathroom exhausts are turned on after showers for proper ventilation. Periodically wiping your bathroom tiles with a three percent solution of hydrogen peroxide also helps prevent growth of mildew.
How do I increase the flow pressure of water coming from my taps?
If your taps are not equipped with aerators, fitting them on all your faucets will help increase the pressure and also decrease water consumption. Simply unscrew the spout and screw the aerator onto the tap. If you already have aerators, unscrew them and clean with vinegar to get rid of any blockage.
The caulking line in my kitchen/bathroom is beginning to crack. How do I reseal it?
If you do not wish to call a service provider, you can caulk the edges yourself with some caulk and painter’s tape (available at hardware stores).
- Apply two lengths of painter’s tape above and under the edge, leaving a thin strip of the edge exposed.
- Apply caulk evenly over the exposed strip, and press to flatten the paste.
- After 5-10 minutes, gently peel off the tape. Allow to caulk to dry overnight without allowing water near it.
My kitchen fills with smoke quickly while cooking, even with the hood turned on. How do I resolve this?
- Ensure that your kitchen chimney hood’s grill is clean as oil residue can build up over time and hamper operation.
- Use dishwashing solution to clean the metal grill – hot water can also help melt grease deposits and aid cleaning.
- Ensure that the chimney hood is completely dry before you attempt to operate it again as moisture can attract dust and exacerbate the problem.
I see damp spots on my walls/ceilings. What can I do about it?
It’s quite likely that you have a water leak. If the pipes are visible and it’s a pinhole leak, you can try to rectify the issue yourself using epoxy putty on the hole – don’t attempt any repairs if the pipe is cracked.If you see damp spots on the ceiling, reaching these pipes will require professional expertise. It’s best to call an experienced service provider to handle the problem if this is the case.
One of the electrical outlets in my unit is not working. How do I fix it?
- Check if it is connected to a wall switch that may have not been turned on.
- Once this is determined, inspect the circuit breakers and reset any that may have turned off.
- A blown fuse may have also disrupted power to the outlet.
- Do not attempt to insert any long artifacts into the outlet – call a reliable electrician if you are unable to resolve the problem.
One of my drains appears to be blocked. What should I do?
Most blocked drains are caused by accumulated fats and grease that may have solidified, and can be easily rectified.
- Try pouring detergent and hot water down the drain to help melt the grease.
- For blockages that are not too deep, unravel a wire coat hanger and twist it around inside the pipe until the block has been cleared.
- For tougher blockages, use a plunger to force the debris clear. The pumping action of the plunger alternatively increases and decreases the pressure inside the pipe, helping dislodge any debris.