Finding things getting a little boring this February, why not check your home for safety concerns.  I often see dangerous things when I inspect a home, let me give you some things to help get you started on checking your home for safety.

  • Does your home have a Carbon Monoxide detector? Where is it located?  Carbon Monoxide is a deadly gas that is odorless.  It is heavier than air and can only be detected with a Carbon Monoxide detector.  The ideal place for a Carbon Monoxide detector is on the lower level near the furnace and hotwater heater, near a garage door or a fireplace. (Gas or Wood burning).  You may also consider putting one in the hallway where your family sleeps.  Since Carbon Monoxide is heavier than air, the detector should be close to the ground, usually in a wall plug.  It is OK to have more than one in your home.
  • Do you have working smoke detectors on every level of the house, have they been tested with smoke lately.  Check the grills for dust build up and vacuum them if required.  Smoke detectors are good for 10 years and then replacement is recommended.  Batteries should be replaced every October.  Have you ever thought of putting best before dates on a smoke detectors just the same way the dairy does on a carton of milk?  This is an easy way to keep track of your smoke detectors age.
  • Do you have accessible working fire extinguishers in your kitchen, garage and mechanical room.
  • Check your egress escape routes.  Basement windows should open easily from inside and if there are security bars they should have quick release latch (No Locks).  Are the windows free of snow and debris and have a clear path to take you away from the house.  Don’t forget the upstairs bedroom windows.  They are also a point of egress and the same rules apply.  Is there a safe way to climb down from an upstairs window if needed?
  • Are your railings tight and secure?  Check them all.  Basement stair railings are often removed for moving in furniture or during a remodel and not replaced.  Wooden deck railings loosen over time.  Do a general inspection of all the other guards and railings of the home.  Include any baby gates if you are using them, they loosen up over time as well.
  • Does your home leak?  Water inside a home will enable mold to grow putting unhealthy mold spores and toxins in the air.  Check under all your sinks for signs on water and run the taps while feeling around under the sink for moisture.  If you find anything fix it immediately.  Check your ceilings for water stains which would indicate a roof leak or plumbing leak. Check all levels, a toilet leak on the top floor may first be detected in the ceiling below it.
  • Is the area around you furnace and hot water heater clean and clutter free?  A small mechanical room should never be used for storage.  Make sure you have easy access to access panels on the furnace and hot water heater as well as the emergency shut off for both these units.  If your not sure where to find these shut offs nows the time to look around and find them and consider labelling them for easy detection in the future.  This is also a good time to do the same for the main water shut off valve.
  • Check for basic electrical issues.  Do all your plugs and switches have proper cover plates?  Do any of your electrical appliances have frayed cords?  These items should be repaired right away.  Make sure your main electrical panel is accessible.  You should not store anything directly in front of the electrical panel.
  • Are you storing any paints, solvents or cleaners in the house?  Are they out of reach children?  Are paints and solvents stored in a well ventilated area away from living spaces, or any source of heat?

Feel free to contact me for your home inspection needs.  I offer home inspections, thermal imaging, mold inspections and energy audits.  Let me know if I can help you.

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