Christmas is finally here and you’re probably well on your way to being prepared for the big day; presents are bought, decorations are ready to go, cards are written and sent and the turkey is ordered from the butcher. Given that all that’s left is to cover some hastily bought books and socks in paper and cook a slightly-larger Sunday dinner, there’s nothing that could go catastrophically bad, right?
Wrong! The success of the all-important Christmas dinner hinges on your kitchen being up to the task, but there could be some potential hidden disasters lurking right around the corner.
1. Problematic Pipework
You might not believe this, but it’s true – research from UK insurance firms shows that a major burst pipe can cause up to £60,000 worth of damage to a home. If this nightmare befalls your kitchen then a ruined Christmas dinner will likely be last on your list of worries, but it’s still going to rank – a festive feast will certainly be off the cards if things go amiss.
Avoid pipes freezing (and subsequently bursting) by turning off outside taps, opening doors to sink units and loft spaces to allow warm air to circulate through pipes, and cover pipes in unheated areas (e.g. garage) with foam insulation.
2. Cooker Catastrophes
This is the big one – how can you cook your turkey or rustle up that traditional Christmas pud without you beloved oven roaring away at hundreds of degrees? Ignition issues are the most common problems when it comes to cooker-based disasters, which could leave you unable to even get the ball rolling on your Christmas dinner.
The best method for tackling this is in two ways: first, be sure to check out reviews and ratings on the most reliable brands and best buys; second, schedule a professional to take a look at your cooker ahead of the big day if you suspect things aren’t going quite right. Problems often gradually develop, so keep your eye out for unusual behaviour (e.g. not retaining temperature, not igniting etc.) and call in the pros for an effective fix.
3. Fridge/Freezer Fiascos
We’re willing to bet that a lot of your Christmas spread will be living in the freezer before it heads on the fast track to Cookerville – the turkey, frozen vegetables, desert items and probably much more as well. However, fridges and freezers are not immune from the woes of electrical failure – ice build-up and blocked drainage systems are two of the most common causes of fridge-freezer problems according to Which?.
As with cookers, keep an eye out for unusual behaviour so you can sort potential issues well ahead of time, and stick to recommended models with good reviews – going as cheap as possible might save you money in the short term, but remember the old adage ‘you get what you pay for’. It might be worth defrosting your freezer at the beginning of the month as a fresh start, helping to avoid ice build-up.
4. I Have The Power! Wait…
While the last two points might relate to very specific appliances, what if you were to lose power to all of your appliances? There’d not even be a chance of a microwave Christmas dinner then… We’re all guilty of over-reliance on extension leads and power strips when we’re in need of extra power sockets – while this is fine for your bedroom where you might have a lamp, a TV and a phone charger plugged in, it won’t fly in the kitchen.
A vast majority of kitchen appliances are power hungry beasts – run your kettle, microwave and toaster off the same extension lead, and you’re asking for trouble. Make sure you don’t overload extension leads, and try and avoid multi-socket extension leads in your kitchen; they won’t cope with the power demands of kitchen appliances. If you need more outlets, plan ahead and get an electrician in to install some – it’s the safest option, and it’ll avoid any power surges at the most inconvenient times.
This guest post was written by Tom McShane – blogger, Christmas-lover and writer for UK-based Cooker Solutions, who provide cooker repairs for a range of models throughout South London. This guest post, supplied by over repair specialists Cooker Solutions, looks at what potential festive misfortunes could be lying in wait, and how you can avoid them.