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Safety tips when booking a villa holiday - Fri 20th April 2012

  • A quick check around the villa upon arrival to your holiday accommodation is useful before you unpack.
  • Gas boilers that are not properly maintained, and exhaust their gases back into the house, will cause carbon monoxide poisoning: a well maintained gas boiler that is properly vented is vital. A gas certificate should also be issued for gas central heating installations.
  • Flexible rubber gas tubes are used in all houses that have a gas hob or a gas central heating system: these rubber tubes have an expiry date printed on them, as they last about 5 years. It is very common for people to forget to renew these tubes, which do become fatigued and can leak gas. Check the date on the tube, which you will find imprinted along the tube that connects the gas bottle to the hob. Inform the appropriate person immediately if you find the date has expired.
  • It is a common practice in Spain for the washing machine to be placed in the bathroom along with the electrical connection socket, but this is dangerous as the bathroom is a wet environment and the user is likely to be wet too. The socket should be in an adjacent room, or be located in its own utility room.
  • Some older villas have very low balustrades, or large gaps between the spindles that a young child can slip through, or that the balustrade is placed on the edge of the plot boundary that happens to have a 10 metre drop the other side. A good agent will have inspected and ensured that such information is in the details.
  • The tiles in bathrooms and around the pool do not tend to be nonslip, as such caution should be advised, particularly if children wish to run around the pool area.
  • Always ensure that an adult is present at the poolside, or that two responsible persons are present, as even 'no diving' warming signs do not necessarily prevent children from diving in. The pool depths range from 1-2 metres, so it's quite easy to dive in the shallow end and bump your head on the bottom.
  • The pine tree caterpillars known as 'Thaumetopoea Pityocampa' give an allergic reaction in the form of a rash and pain if their hairs touch you or your pet. Wherever you see a white fluffy ball in a pine tree, it is their habitat. They are small but nonetheless should be avoided. The only way to kill them is to cut away that branch of the tree into a metal container and burn them.

There are many older properties that would not pass building regulation of today's standard in Spain, so do be aware of anything that does not look right for your own piece of mind.

Posted by Bruce Gibson

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