Homes and people are not perfect, things can go wrong. It is always best to be prepared ahead of time. Below are some things that should be checked every 6 months or so. The first of the year and start of June are easy to remember as they are the halfway and year end points.
- First, make sure you have a smoke detector in each room and the adjacent hallway. Not only is it a good idea, but it’s the law!
- Test the smoke detectors. If they are hard-wired make sure they all go off when you push one. If they are battery operated make sure they work, and replace any old batteries.
- Install and/or check your carbon monoxide detectors to ensure they are working properly. They are required to be within 10 feet of each sleeping space, and there must be a minimum of one detector on each floor.
- If you have a second or third story on your home, make sure you have fire escape ladders that are accessible. Check to make sure they are in good condition and not buried in the back of a closet. In the event of a fire, exiting the house as fast as possible is essential. It is also a good idea to have everyone in your house practice setting up the ladder so they know how to use it.
- Inspect your fire extinguisher. It should be easily accessible, not have any dents, the pin in the handle should not be tampered with, and the pressure gauge should be in the green.
- If your basement has a sump pump, test it by dumping a five gallon bucket of water into the sump pail. Doing so will make the float rise and the pump(should) turn on.
- Check your dryer vent and remove any lint that has built up.
- Change and/or clean any heating, cooling, or ventilation filters. It is a good idea to check manufacturer’s recommendations on how often to replace/clean them as it may be a shorter period than six months.
- Drain or flush your water heater. Also check the pressure relief valve.
- Before winter comes, turn off outside water supplies and disconnect your hoses to prevent frozen pipes.
Homes require extensive maintenance. While this is not a complete list of everything that needs to be done on your home, these tasks are essentials to keeping your family safe.