Image: Lightfield Studios / AdobeStockAs the holiday season approaches with a whirlwind of excitement, ensuring your home is clean, cozy, and prepared becomes a top priority. To make this festive
Have You Implemented These Nine Home Safety Essentials?
Dated: September 5 2023
Image: Alexis Scholtz / Adobestock
Moving into a new house is exhilarating, but don’t forget about home safety. Here are nine essential measures every homeowner should take as soon as they get the house keys:
Change the Locks
You don’t know who has copies of the old keys, so change out all the locks as soon as the property is yours. Don’t forget garage doors, shops, and alarm codes. If there is an automatic garage door opener, have it reprogrammed.
Find the Main Shut-Offs
In an emergency, you may need to quickly shut off the water, gas, or power mains. Make sure everyone in the house knows where they are and how to use them.
Label Circuit Breakers
Locate the circuit breaker box and test all the circuits. If they are not labeled already, label them or fill out any chart attached to the box.
Install Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Detectors
Newer homes should already have updated smoke detectors. However, in an older house, it’s best to install new ones, since smoke detectors should be replaced every 10 years. Carbon monoxide detectors should also be installed; if there is ever a problem with the furnace or ventilation, a detector can alert you to this dangerous silent killer.
Install Fire Extinguishers
You need one fire extinguisher on each floor—the one near the kitchen should be designed for grease fires. If fire extinguishers are already in the house, check the expiration dates and replace them if they are close to expiring.
Check the Washer and Dryer
Ensure the dryer is vented to the outside with a run as short and straight as possible. Replace the duct hose if it appears worn or old. If the washer hoses are rubber, replace with braided metal to reduce risk of a hose rupture.
Have the HVAC Serviced
Unless the previous owner provides good records showing a recent inspection, you should have a technician do a seasonal service on the system. This will ensure everything is in good working order. Make sure all shrubs and greenery are cut back at least three feet around the air-conditioning unit.
Get the Fireplace Inspected
Before using the fireplace, it’s a good idea to have it inspected, cleaned, and repaired if necessary. If there are any wood stoves, gas logs, outdoor fireplaces, or grill gas lines, make sure to have these checked as well.
Plan Fire Escape Routes
Determine the best escape routes from all rooms in the house and make sure all members of the household are aware of escape plans. Install fire ladders upstairs if necessary.
Putting in the effort to ensure your home is safe is worthwhile; these extra steps will put your mind at ease.
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