Keep your home safe

Staying on top of regular maintenance tasks around the house helps keep everyone safe. Here are a few things you can do year round:

  1. Keep clutter to a minimum. The fewer combustible things there are lying around, the less there is to burn in case of a fire. Thin out closets, recycle extra papers, and safely dispose of unused household chemicals.
  2. Inspect smoke and carbon monoxide detectors, change the batteries when the clocks change twice a year, and replace smoke detectors every 10 years. It’s also a good time to brush up on CPR and first aid skills, and review the family emergency escape plan.
  3. Have heating and air conditioning systems inspected regularly. Clean or replace your furnace filter as directed by the manufacturer.
  4. Check for leaks and corrosion on the water heater, washing machine hoses, toilets and other plumbing.
  5. Insulate exposed water pipes and check the caulking around doors and windows for deterioration.
  6. Check electrical outlets for frayed wires or loose-fitting plugs. Don’t overload electrical outlets, fuse boxes or extension cords.
  7. Close curtains and blinds at night. It prevents prowlers from being able to see in the home and get a good view of the contents.
  8. Never obscure the house number. Emergency personnel will be able to find the home faster.
  9. Have your roof professionally inspected for damage, have your eaves troughs and chimney cleaned, and make sure the downspouts slope at least 5′ away from foundation walls.
  10. Watch for potential tripping points like loose patio stones and pavement cracks. Also, inspect your play sets, fence, deck and other outdoor furniture for sharp spots.
  11. Drain any standing water to keep the mosquitoes away and prevent West Nile disease.
  12. Check windows and door locks to make sure they’re secure, and repair any holes in the screens.