They say you cannot be “all things to all people.”
But if you're a homeowner, you probably know that it helps to be “all things” to your house if you want to ensure your family's safety – and avoid breakdowns and costly repairs, too.
It would be nice to fix “all things” at once, but most people don't have unlimited time on their hands. This is why Experts in Your Home has crafted a handy home safety list. You can read it now, save it for later and work your way down it so that, eventually, you will tackle “all things” in your home.
Emergency Response Home Safety
- Review the emergencies that all Californians face – fire, flood, earthquake – and be prepared to respond to each. A primer from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention can help.
- Prepare an escape plan. Ensure that everyone knows where to meet in case you are in different places when an emergency strikes or you become separated in the throes of one.
- Purchase a rescue ladder if you have a two-story home.
Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Detector Safety
- Replace the batteries in your detectors. Make sure your home has a detector of each type on each floor, including the basement.
- Clean out the inside of the detectors so that dust doesn't interfere with their operation.
- Run through a drill with your family members so that they can discern the difference in the alarm of the smoke detector vs. carbon monoxide detector.
Fire Extinguisher Home Safety
- Check the charge on your fire extinguishers. Ensure that everyone in your home knows how to use one.
- Replace extinguishers that are more than six years old or that appear damaged.
- Keep one fire extinguisher near the kitchen and one on every floor in your home.
- Install deadbolts on every outside door and locks on every window.
- Put a solid wood dowel in the track of sliding doors.
- Illuminate your home and property from dusk to dawn. “At night, properly placed lighting will deter burglars,” the Los Angeles Police Department says. "Eliminate the dark areas intruders and criminals prefer. More light usually means less crime. Burglars prefer darkness.”
- Install a motion-sensing floodlight in the backyard – a preferred route of burglars who see that some homeowners focus only on the front yard.
Electrical Home Safety
- Place protective covers on electrical outlets if you have children or pets.
- Review your electrical panel and ensure that it's properly labeled. If it's not, or this is a job you cannot competently handle yourself, call the Experts.
- Minimize the risk of fire and safeguard your electronics by plugging electronics into power strips (rather than directly into the wall).
- Reconsider extension cords, using them only when absolutely necessary. Throw away extension cords that contain loose or bare wires. Take a good look around your home; if it's really more outlets that you need in your home, call our electricians about installing them.
HVAC and Fireplace Safety
- Be vigilant about having your air conditioner tuned up in the spring and your furnace tuned up in the fall.
- Inspect your chimney for any visual signs of damage or deterioration. Shine a bright flashlight up the flue and look for creosote deposits. Have a professional come out to clean your fireplace if it needs it.
- Test the damper to ensure that it opens and closes properly.
- Check the flue cap – the screen or baffle that covers the top of the chimney – is in place. Animals can build nests on top of unprotected flues and create a fire risk.
Did we forget anything major? We hope not, but if we did, we hope you will let us know. We want to share important safety information because, as you may have guessed, Experts In Your Home strives to be “all things to all people” – their valued customers.