Home safety is more than setting a security system, it is about risk management. Home owners need to look around and identify any risky areas of the property. Identifying commonly overlooked issues protects a home from harm. The following are some safety tips to help home owners protect themselves and their investments.
Fire hazards are everywhere. For example, exposed outlets and power cords can quickly present an issue. Property owners need to have their home’s wiring checked to ensure that it is up to standards and not old or dangerous. Smoke alarms should be fully operational: fresh batteries and proper wiring should be in place. Home owners should have fire extinguishers on hand in case of an emergency, and know where a property’s electrical panel is located in case it needs to be shut off.
Outside Structure of the Home
Home owners need to pay attention to the gutters and windows of the home, as well as other structural elements. Windows with splintered frames are easier to break into, and no one wants a thief to use a gutter to climb up and into a home. Additionally, old windows and frames make it easier for cold air to enter a property, which increases utility bills. Gutters are important because they also protect a home’s roof. Without proper cleanings and repair the gutters can fail, which can be expensive to fix or replace. Regular inspections of the property ensure its safety.
Mold can be incredibly harmful. Fungi and air toxins make it hard for home owners to breathe, and such items can really do a number on a home’s structure. Mold usually grows in moist areas, like basements. If there has been a plumbing issue or flood, mold is likely to follow. It is important to work on removing moisture and humidity from a home and to have high risk areas checked. This protects both the property and the home’s occupants.
Winterize the Home
As colder weather comes, it is important to prepare the pipes so that they do not burst. This could be a costly emergency – not only could a room or home flood, but the resulting repairs can be incredibly expensive. Exposed pipes should be insulated, and the pipes should be professionally wrapped. Opening sink cabinets is important so that warm air can circulate. On particularly cold days, home owners should let faucets drip so that pipes do not freeze.
Old Locks and Doors
Locks and doors experience a lot of wear and tear over time. It is important to check the locks to ensure that they are not rusted or malfunctioning. An old lock or door is easily broken, which puts the home at risk.
Lock Up Chemicals
Chemicals are dangerous for a few reasons. Not only are they a fire hazard, but they can also put a family’s children and pets in danger. All chemicals should be up and out of the way, locked up so that no one can get in to them and end up hurting themselves. Chemicals include everything from fuel to cleaning supplies and paint.
Home safety is all about prevention. Taking the necessary precautions protects a property from theft, fire, flood, and other issues. This is a chance to really protect the home itself, and your loved ones.
Denise Merchant is a Texas-based home inspector, whose inspection services range from Houston gutters to Port Arthur basements