You’ve worked hard to make this Christmas a special one, so don’t let an unexpected turn of events plunge your holidays into disarray. The experts at Buster are on hand with practical advice to help you deal with any little emergencies this Christmas, calmly and without fuss.

home christmas problems
Help! My heating’s stopped working

A house full of guests and no central heating does not make a happy Christmas. To ensure you’re warm and cosy for the holidays have your boiler serviced regularly and insulate any pipes that are liable to freeze.

Check auxiliary heaters to make sure they are in working order. They may be costly to run but could be essential if you can’t get a professional to help.

If you’ve got a condensing or combi boiler, then at this time of year, it probably means your condense pipe is frozen (the black, white or grey pipe coming from the bottom of the boiler and leading to the outside).

If you are unable to get a professional to help, use a hot water bottle or heat wrap – like the ones used to ease muscle pain – and hold around the pipe until thawed. Only attempt to thaw a pipe at ground level, which is easily accessible. Once thawed the boiler must be reset.

blocked christmas sink
Help! My plughole is blocked

Did you know, over a 15 million cups of turkey fat are disposed of down the plughole every Christmas so it’s little wonder we can end up with a blocked drain over the holidays. And there’s nothing like a blocked plughole to quickly put a halt to the smooth running of your home this Christmas.

The Buster Plughole Unblocker range has been specifically formulated to unblock and treat plugholes, delivering powerful cleaning for any plughole problem. Buster Kitchen Unblocker blasts fat, food and gunk from kitchen drains and pipes in minutes. Buster Bathroom Unblocker dissolves hair and soap sludge to tackle slow draining showers and baths. Used regularly these products will prevent build up.

keeping out burglars this christmas
Help! I’m going away and worried about burglars

If you’re going away over Christmas make sure your absence isn’t obvious to would-be burglars. Let your neighbours know so they may keep an eye on your home but don’t advertise your absence on social networking sites, you never know who may be reading it.

Cancel deliveries such as milk or news papers and tell neighbours their guests can park on your drive to give the impression your home is occupied.

Ensure all electrical items are switched off at the wall, especially Christmas tree or other decorative lighting such as fairy lights. Keep valuables like laptops, iPads and jewellery out of sight and make sure presents are not left on display.

broken freezer at christmas
Help! My freezer isn’t working

A malfunction or power cut can spell disaster for a well-stocked freezer. However, a full freezer can stay frozen for up to 48 hours if the door is kept closed. You can help to insulate it further by wrapping it in old newspapers or a sleeping bag or duvet.

Defrosted raw food should be cooked as soon as possible and consumed or re-frozen if appropriate.

Defrosted cooked food should be consumed within two days and should not be refrozen. Follow the rule of ‘if in doubt, throw it out’. It is better to do so than risk food poisoning.

If your freezer fails due to a power cut that lasts for more than 18 hours your insurance may cover the cost of the ruined items. Check your policy for details.

ice path at christmas
Help! My path is treacherous

Slippery paths and driveways can prove very dangerous especially for older members of our communities, so it’s important to deal with the problem swiftly and correctly before an injury occurs.

Start early; it’s much easier to remove fresh snow than compacted snow. Although it may seem like a logical thing to do, never use hot water as it will melt snow but may cause black ice to form.

Make a pathway down the middle of the area to be cleared first so you have a safe and secure surface to walk on, paying particular attention to steps and areas with a slope gradient. Consider where you’re putting snow if you’re shovelling, being careful to avoid blocking drains or a neighbour’s path.

Sprinkle some salt on the cleared area to help prevent ice from reforming. Dishwasher salt will do the trick but be careful not to spread it on vegetation as it can cause damage. Finally, be a good neighbour and assist neighbours who may be unable to clear their own path.

If you would like further information on this or a related subject, please search the website or contact us and we will be happy to help.