In the time of Covid-19, with lockdown regulations changing frequently and some restaurants, bars, and other indoor gathering places closed or operating differently, the at-home date night has grown more popular.
Many of us are simply choosing to stay home to stay safe. With Valentine’s Day just around the corner and home-based plans in place, here are some useful (extra) safety reminders.
In addition to being therapeutic, cooking can be a fun activity for couples to do together. However, if you’re not careful, the date can go from dashing to disaster sooner than expected.
To begin with, check that your electrical points are not carrying too many appliances on one plug, for example. Overloading can lead to a fuse blowing or a fire starting. Equally, gas stoves or open flames can be a fire risk to oven mitts or aprons.
Candles are a risky but romantic addition to date nights. They create ambient lighting, which suits the mood, but they can also be the cause of a fire if a tablecloth, clothing, a curtain, or fabric serviette gets too close to the flame.
During the warmer weather we all love at this time of the year, keeping windows open is appealing, but you need to consider if unexpected gusts of wind could tip a candle over, or blow something flammable too close. Keep a close eye and put safety first.
Remember to check your contents against your insurance policy as accidents can happen. A fire can very quickly get out of control and cause a lot of damage. Without proper insurance, you could lose so many of your treasured items (and the ones you need to enjoy comfort at home).
Nurture in nature
You may be trying to avoid enclosed spaces, so having a romantic backyard movie night with your partner could be a fun option. It also allows you to have a look through what needs to be done and maintained while setting up.
While placing romantic fairy lights on your trees, check that hedges, thorny bushes and overgrown plants are trimmed back, and that loose hanging tiles, pipes, wood, and bricks are secured.
If you are not equipped to make these repairs on your own, contact a trusted maintenance company to help you, checking with your adviser if your insurance will cover any improvements, but do be realistic in that wear and tear is often for your own account.
If you’re opting to honour a reservation by going to a restaurant for an early meal, remember to check that you have locked up your home and set up the alarm. Many of us have been going out less and ordering the essentials online, making it easy to forget that locking up when we go out is still as important as ever.
Protect your home and car by activating locks as soon as you exit and always be vigilant.
While February might represent the month of love, this can also mean prioritising some self-love through protecting your goals (particularly those that are financial – so losing money is best avoided). Keeping your insurance up to date goes a long way on this date night and any other nights to come.
Luzanne Wait, an insurance adviser at PSG Jeffrey’s Bay