In the midst of all the summer activities, there are a few things you should add to your to-do list to keep you and your family safe in your home. Here are three:
If you don’t have a fire extinguisher, you should get one. Install one in the kitchen and other areas prone to fire. Once installed, however, we tend to forget them, but even if you have not used it, a fire extinguisher may depressurize and you won’t know it until you need it unless you check it. Your owner’s manual should have a maintenance schedule. If not, contact the manufacturer to get one.
When checking it, make sure:
- Nothing blocks it so that you can quickly access it in an emergency. If installed in a cupboard, place it at the front or mount it inside the door.
- Check the pressure. Most extinguishers have a gauge, so make sure the pressure is in the safe zone.
- Make sure the pin and tamper seal are intact, the nozzle and hose are not cracked and there is no corrosion on the tank.
The last thing you want is to learn that your extinguisher is inoperative during an emergency. Have your extinguisher serviced or replaced every five to ten years.
Check your smoke detector at least once a month, and according to the Federal Emergency Management Agency, replace batteries at least twice a year. Check them more often when:
- Frequent cooking smoke activates it. Constant activation can wear it out.
- It gives false alarms.
- The alarm regularly emits short beeps.
Never put old batteries in a battery-powered smoke detector. Even if powered by your home’s electrical system, be sure to check the back-up batteries to be sure it will function during power outages.
Many of us never think about our electrical panel unless we blow a breaker or the power goes out. Preventative maintenance to this vital home system is far more economical than repairs once it fails. Breakers and wires age and can cause arching and overheating. Have your panel and electrical system checked by a certified electrician every three years, and more often if you
- Often have to reset a breaker.
- Have frequent power outages.
- Have medical or other equipment reliant on electricity.
- See sparks, flame or smoke when flipping a switch or plugging into an outlet.
- Have a very old home with an old electrical system.
We can help you find home safety specialists to inspect your home’s systems, so contact us today.