The New Year is a time for changes and fresh starts. So why not start the year off right by making some changes within your home to keep it safe. With just a few very affordable adjustments, you can make your home a safer haven for you and your loved ones.
A good place to start is by ensuring you have working smoke detectors installed throughout your house. The current standard calls for at least one on every floor of your house and additional units in enclosed areas with open flames or heat sources are also recommended.
Make sure you test each detector to ensure the unit is functioning properly and the alarm can easily be heard in surrounding areas. You should also consider installing carbon monoxide detectors, particularly in the furnace area of your home. If your smoke or carbon monoxide detectors are battery-powered versus hard-wired, be sure to replace the batteries regularly. A simple way to do this is by timing your replacement with a regular event, such as twice a year when daylight savings time starts and stops.
Home Safe Home Tips
- have at least one smoke detector on each level of your home
- change batteries twice a year – daylights savings start/end is an easy time to remember
- make an escape plan with your family
- save on energy costs by servicing your furnace on a regular basis
- save on insurance premiums by installing a home security system
Another home safety tactic that is cost free is to make an escape plan with your family. Draw up a plan that sets out the preferred exits to take in case of fire. Make sure it identifies alternative exits if the usual path to the outside is blocked. Each family member should know every exit that is available from every room of the house. Finally, you and your family should have a rehearsal of different exit routes. You should also agree on a pre-determined meeting place outside the home where all family members will meet should you ever need to flee your home. Make sure everyone, especially young children, understands they are to get to this pre-arranged site, and once they are out of the house, to stay out. Your local fire department will have other helpful advice on fire prevention and home safety. A visit to the local fire hall can be an enjoyable way to reinforce the fire safety plans you put in place at home.
In addition to installing carbon monoxide detectors, you should inspect your furnace every year to be sure it is running safely and efficiently. Your gas or oil providers will offer this service, as do other private heating contractors. In addition to the safety factor, you could also save on energy costs by keeping your heating system running efficiently. In fact, your energy savings may even cover the cost of the inspection and the peace of mind it delivers is priceless.
Perhaps you’ve considered a Home Security system, but have put it off due to the expense of installing or operating such a system. You may be surprised to learn that some home insurance companies will offer lower premiums if you have an approved security system in place. As well, there are other home security measures such as motion sensor lighting that are affordable and easy to install. If you’d like some expert advice on how various security measures may impact your home’s resale potential, and help to make it home safe home, give me a call.