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:
- 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.
- 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.
- Have heating and air conditioning systems inspected regularly. Clean or replace your furnace filter as directed by the manufacturer.
- Check for leaks and corrosion on the water heater, washing machine hoses, toilets and other plumbing.
- Insulate exposed water pipes and check the caulking around doors and windows for deterioration.
- Check electrical outlets for frayed wires or loose-fitting plugs. Don’t overload electrical outlets, fuse boxes or extension cords.
- 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.
- Never obscure the house number. Emergency personnel will be able to find the home faster.
- 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.
- 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.
- Drain any standing water to keep the mosquitoes away and prevent West Nile disease.
- Check windows and door locks to make sure they’re secure, and repair any holes in the screens.