3 Easy Check-Ins to Keep Your Home Safe this Fall
Updated: Feb 17, 2022
Our homes are our safe havens. We want our families and property in good hands and out of harm’s way. Unfortunately, many of us fail to do some of the simple things that can prevent big disasters. Fall is a great time of year to do a check in on some of the things that will help keep your home protected.
Fire Alarm & Carbon Monoxide Detectors
Smoke alarms should be installed on every level of a home, in basements, inside bedrooms, and outside sleeping areas. Consider installing interconnect smoke alarms that will all sound when one sounds.
Alarms should be tested at least once a month. Batteries will need to be replaced yearly. Schedule a specific time each year or replace when the chirping reminds you the battery is low. Non-replacement 10-year lithium batteries are the exception to this rule.
Smoke alarms older than 10 years old should be replaced.
Fire extinguishers can be helpful when putting out small fires. It is recommended to have several fire extinguishers placed strategically in your home for quick use.
Be sure you know how to operate your extinguisher properly. Check your extinguisher regularly and get it tested by a professional every few years.
One of the biggest mistakes most homeowners make is not having adequate insurance for their property. It is imperative that you know what your policy does and does not cover. Most basic policies have limits, so you may need to purchase additional policies to have the coverage you need.
Pay attention to things left out of coverage limits, or whether you will be reimbursed purchase price or depreciated value for your home and overall property items.
Know the value of the items in your home. Taking a home inventory can help you identify what kind of insurance you will need to cover valuables should they become lost or stolen. It will also help you decide if you need extra coverage for larger ticket items such as jewelry, art, or heirlooms.
Do an annual check in with your insurance agent to be sure you have the coverage you need. Big life changes, like purchasing a new house, are good times to check in and possibly shop and compare rates to make necessary changes.
Some carriers may not provide the specific coverage you’re looking for and you may need to go elsewhere to get the protection you need.
Practice Safe Habits
Heating equipment is one of the leading causes of house fires. Improper use can be destructive and deadly. All flammables like blankets, towels, and furniture should be placed at least 3 feet away from space heaters. Heaters should be turned off when going to bed or leaving the room.
If gas heaters are used, be sure to have a carbon monoxide detector installed to avoid CO poisoning.
Never leave a kitchen with a stove top on. Make sure anything flammable is far away from stove tops.
Have heaters inspected and cleaned by a qualified professional before the winter season begins. That includes any space heaters, wood-burning devices, or chimneys.
Check cords & be cautious with outlets. Outlets should never be overloaded. Electrical outlets can only transfer so much electricity. If too many things are plugged in at once, these circuits can become overloaded causing a small explosion or fire. Use a power strip to help with overcrowding of outlets.
Only use extension cords on a temporary basis.
There are many things you can do to keep your home and family safe, but the most important thing is to start. We’ve discussed just 3 that can get you on your way and leave you feeling better protected.
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