Fall Home Safety Checks
Home safety checks are always a good idea. The Fall season provides a great opportunity to do some prevention and maintenance work around your home.
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.
Know How to Turn it Off
In the event of a large leak, rupture, or flooding you need to know how to turn off your home's water supply. Know the location of your valve before an emergency arises to best avoid major flooding or water damage. It is usually located in a home’s basement, garage, or outside near the foundation.
Be Smart When Away
The Holiday season is a popular time to travel. If you plan on being away from home, there are some important rules to follow to prevent possible damages while you are away. The best and perhaps easiest thing you can do to prevent potential water damage while you’re away to shut off your home’s main water supply. Be sure to test to make sure it is shut off by running a faucet before you leave.
If you still need water supply to individual parts of the home, look for individual shut off valves typically found near the supply lines.
It’s always a good idea to have a friend or family member periodically checking in on your home while you’re gone. Make sure they know where to locate the main water shut-off valve. Having the valve labeled with a tag or tape is a good idea so that anybody can find it easily.
Make sure all windows are closed. If a storm with heavy rains comes through, open windows can lead to a fair amount of water damage.
Water Damage Awareness
Water damage can be costly, time consuming, and cause devastating loss. Prevention starts with being diligent in checking for signs of damage.
Be sure to inspect toilets, under sinks and cabinets, laundry rooms, bathrooms, and attics.
Watch for floors that are warped or popping. Pay attention to any damp or wet spots on carpets and other flooring. Look for water along baseboards.
On walls and ceilings look for any spots that are bubbling, wrinkling, or discolored. Take notice of any spots of dampness or softness of material. Pay attention to any sounds of dripping or trickling behind walls. If something seems out of the ordinary, be sure to have it checked out.
Mold can grow on almost any surface including ceilings, wallpaper, flooring, wood, and insulation. Humid areas and areas with high water use are the most common places for mold growth. Look for white, green, or black specks. If you do suspect mold, you should have your home thoroughly inspected before things get worse.
Water heaters should be inspected annually to check for efficiency and safety.
Keep all combustible and flammable materials far away from the water heater.
Fireplaces & chimneys should be cleaned and inspected by a professional every year to avoid possible risk. Even if you don’t use them often, they should still be checked.
Keeping your home and family safe is always a top priority. Taking time to do some seasonal checks is a great way to prevent possible damages and destruction that can be devastating and costly.
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