Annual Home Safety Checklist
Your home is a place you hope provides a safe haven for you and your family. And when things crop up that threaten that safety, we all naturally do what we can to fix the problem.
Some threats can easily be seen because they are obvious, like a broken window for example.
But there are some things that can go by undetected, because they do not appear to pose such an obvious problem, or we are not even aware there is a potential issue.
Following is a checklist of less than obvious threats that merit a regular review to ensure your home is as safe as possible.
Home Safety Checklist
Cordless Window Coverings: Loose cords can strangle children in an instant. Switch out all corded blinds and curtains for cordless versions. If this is cost prohibitive or not possible, make sure all cords are stored out of children’s reach and without loops or knots.
Smoke Alarms: If you can, install smoke and carbon monoxide alarms on every level of your house and outside your bathroom, and don’t forget near furnace areas.
Do not settle for alarm batteries that have a short life. This is a place to splurge on long-life batteries, if only for convenience reasons if nothing else. Remember to check the batteries and replace them every year to make sure your alarm will work in times of need.
Test your smoke alarms to make sure they are working and opt for dual alarms which use long life lithium-batteries.
Extension Cords and Outlets: No cords, including extension cords, should raun across your doorway or rugs. Faulty wires can cause house fires if not checked. And if you’re using an extension cord as a permanent fixture, consider having new electrical outlets installed.
Remember too that your major appliances should always be plugged directly into the wall outlet and not into an extension cord.
Water Heater and Fire Extinguisher: Water heaters should be set to a maximum 120 degrees to prevent burns; this is especially important if you have children at home. Keep anything flammable or combustible away from your water heater; this includes aerosols and household chemicals.
You should also have at least one fire extinguisher on every level of your home. Remember to replace them every year as directed by the manufacturer.
Windows and Doors: Always check to be sure your windows are shut properly in times of a storm to prevent leaks. Unnoticed leaks can cause serious water damage to your property.
Look for water stains or drafts coming through the window. If you notice drafts make sure to seal your windows to prevent water from leaking inside your home during the next storm.
The same can be said for doors. Replacing weather stripping around doors at the first sign of a leak or draft can prevent water damage to your property. Repair any cracked caulking as well.
Drainage and Gutters: Gutters and drainage pipes can become clogged throughout the year. Leaves, debris, sticks and dirt can become a huge problem if cleaning your gutters is not done in a timely manner.
So, clean your gutters before winter rains start, and again in the spring. Also make sure that your downspouts direct water at least 5 to 10 feet away from the house.
Test your sump pump if you have one: Sump pumps are vital during storms to keep water from rising and making its way inside your home. Often, it is only when damage like this occurs to ones home that you realize that your pump isn’t working properly.
So it could save you a lot if you check it once a year and ideally, perform several checks during heavy storm seasons.
Here’s how you can check your sump pump:
Slowly fill the sump pump pit with water. Watch the “float”- it’s the one similar to the toilet float. Watch to see if it rises which should turn on the pump and cause the water level to fall.
Do not forget to test your backup pump but before you do make sure to unplug the main pump first.
Fix Water Leaks: Make sure to look for and repair any noticeable dripping pipes. Things like dark spots or raised spots on cabinets under pipes and on ceilings could indicate a leak.
At least yearly, inspect the roof for missing, loose or damaged shingles. If a leak is left untreated it can lead to serious mold growth, bad staining, and damage to the walls, ceiling, and even flooring.
The faster you address a leak, the less damage there will be and the more likely your insurance company will cover your water damage claim. Long-term damage is generally considered negligence on the part of the homeowner and can void your coverage for this type of claim.
The cost of prevention is normally less than the cost of paying for unwanted damages and certainly much less of a hassle!.
If you have a leaking pipe, quickly take the following steps to avoid further damage and then call a trusted plumber to inspect the problem:
Prevent further water leaking through water supply valves on toilets by making sure to turn the valve clockwise to shut off the water supply.
Most water-based appliances have a water supply valve connected to them that allows you to shut off the water supply at that fixture without turning off the water to the entire house. Turn it off if you have an appliance leak.
If the location of the leak is unknown or in a place that doesn’t have its own supply valve, then quickly turn of the main supply to your home.
Call us and let us come and provide you with a free assessment of the situation and help educate you on whether an insurance claim is necessary. We have trusted plumbing partners we can refer to you to address the plumbing concerns as well.
Here at Five Star Restoration we are committed to helping our customers in every way that we can. Educating our customers is an important part of our Five Star service which is why we publish articles like this one from time to time on the value of an annual safety check.
We encourage you to check out our reviews online to see what others in your surrounding neighborhoods are saying about our service!
Five Star Restoration is available 24/7 for water damage control and advice along with any of your restoration needs.
Call us today at 951-368.2227 for a free consultation.
Tags: home safety checklist, prevent water damage, prevent mold, water damage repair, home safety