5 Safety Concerns to Address Immediately When You Move Into a New Home
Moving is stressful and it's easy to get hung up on details when your to-do list is so long. Sometimes important safety concerns get overlooked because there is so much on your plate. We've got you covered with this summary of important safety tips!
1. Address Concerns From Your Home Inspection
Note: If you're renting, be sure to do your own inspection upon move-in and document in both writing and pictures any issues that you see. Sometimes landlords will try to charge you for things that may have already been there. Review your home inspection that was completed during your home purchase. List unresolved deficiencies in order of importance. This may range from larger jobs like replacing your furnace or HVAC system, to installing solid exterior doors (for fire safety and insulation), to smaller concerns like improving insulation, and properly covering all exterior electrical outlets. Hire professionals as appropriate.
2. Test Smoke Alarms and Carbon Monoxide Detectors
Having working smoke alarms is extremely important. Three out of every five fire deaths occur in home without working smoke alarms. Test all the smoke alarms and replace batteries as needed. Replace any smoke alarms that are over ten years old. If you are unsure, err on the side of caution and replace them as soon as you can. Test or install CO2 detectors.
3. Make a Fire Escape Plan
Did you know that once your smoke alarm sounds, you likely only two minutes to exit your home safely? That is why it is imperative to create an escape plan for your new house. Make sure you plan two exits for every room and that all of your windows and doors can open properly. Plan an outside meeting place where everyone should meet after they have exited the house. Then, practice your plan!
4. Get Your Dryer Vents Inspected and Cleaned (Call a Professional!)
Many people don't realize the potential fire hazard that may be present in your dryer vents. Over time, lint and debris build up inside your dryer vent which restricts airflow. This buildup makes it easier for fires to start. There's no way to know if the previous homeowner of your new house performed regular maintenance of the vent system until it is thoroughly inspected. You'll want an in-depth inspection which goes beyond what is typically included in the inspection you had during the home buying process. Look for a reliable cleaning service in your area who specializes dryer vent maintenance. They will have the proper equipment and training to identify any possible hazards along with your cleaning. Not only will your new home be safer, but you'll save money on utility bills, too! HomeSafe Dryer Vent Specialists is a trusted provider in the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex area that offers dryer vent cleaning and other services. If you live near the DFW area, schedule an appointment today.
5. Know Where Your Circuit Breaker and Water Shut-off Valve Are
In the event of power outages and emergencies, you'll want to know where your shut-off valves and circuit breaker are located. These locations are likely identified in your home inspection report. After you familiarize yourself with the location of the water shut-off valve, test the valve by turning it off to ensure it's working correctly. Test and label your breaker controls if they are not already identified for you. These are things you won't want to be figuring out in the middle of an emergency and will help keep your family as safe as possible.
There is so much to do after you move into a new home that adding more to your list may seem too difficult. But the peace of mind that comes from knowing your family is safe is well worth it. Getting these tasks done and out of your way will reduce your stress and give you the freedom to move on to the fun stuff.
Enjoy your new home and stay safe!
Images courtesy of the U.S. Fire Administration.