I can’t believe it… we are finally in our new home! As you know, I am super cautious when it comes to the safety of my family. For me, that meant creating and going through a safety checklist to make sure everything was in order before we spent our first night in our new home.
- Replace smoke detectors.
There is no way to know when the batteries were last replaced or how old the smoke detectors are. For our peace of mind, we replaced any smoke detectors that were previously in the house. How many smoke detectors? One inside each bedroom, outside each sleeping area and one on every level of the home. Our home has five bedroom, four of which are on the second story. So that means we needed two on our main floor (2), one in each bedroom (5), one in the upstairs hall (1), and two in the basement (1). So that makes a total of 9 smoke detectors for the 2500 square foot of our house.
- Replace Carbon Monoxide detectors.
For CO detectors, you need one on each level of your home. We combined #1 and #2 by using the First Alert 10-Year Combination Smoke & Carbon Monoxide Alarm. We have both Voice and Location detectors and detectors that make the traditional chirping noise.
- Create an escape plan and practice it.
You and your children should know two ways out of each space in your home. Talk about them, practice each escape route. Show them how to open windows and doors. Show them how to feel a door with the back of their hand. Explain to them that if it’s hot that means the fire is on the other side of the door. They should keep it closed and they should stay low to the ground. And when they get out of those house DO NOT go back in. Tell them the firemen will try their best to rescue pets. They DO NOT rescue the pets. We also have stickers on our exterior doors that indicate how many pets we have and what they are (2 cats, 1 dog).
- Examine/purchase fire extinguishers.
There are two different kinds of fire extinguishers: rechargeable and disposable. Both have a gauge on the top of the extinguisher. For a rechargeable extinguisher it will show a scale of Full – Recharge and they should be replaced every 6 years. For the disposable extinguisher it will show a scale of Full – Empty and these should be replaced every 12 years. When you initially move into your home, you should check the scale. After, you should continue to check it monthly. You should have one on each floor of your home.
- Have the chimney cleaned.
The National Fire Protection Association says Chimneys, fireplaces, and vents should be inspected at least once a year. When the build up of soot and creosote occurs it can be fuel a chimney fire that may damage the chimney and even spread to your home.
Obviously not necessary if you don’t have children. For us that means:
1. Swapping out blinds, since the ones currently in the home had cords.
2. Purchasing another spout protector for the additional bath tub.
3. Placing locks on all of the cabinets.
- Have a home security system installed.
I have been very vocal about my love of our security system. A security system can be as fancy or as basic as you want or need. From sensors on the doors, to a doorbell camera, to cameras in your home and sensors on every window.
- Change air filter in furnace.
You probably have no idea when it was changed last. Keeping the filter clean keeps your air clean, as well as your HVAC system. It can also extend the life of your system and help keep your energy costs down.
With those 8 things, you can help protect your family and keep your loved ones safe. Nearly three in five home-fire deaths occur in a home with either no smoke detectors or no working smoke detectors. We choose First Alert because their alarms have a battery life of 10 years. Batteries with a life of 10 years means less cost from replacing batteries, less climbing up and down batteries to change batteries, and no more chirping detectors in the middle of the night. We all know that’s the worst!
Make it a priority to do these things as soon as you close on your new home. If you put it off, you’ll just continue to put it off. Once you know it’s done you can relax and enjoy your new home.
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