As a homeowner, it’s your responsibility to make sure your house is safe. That means regularly checking different parts of your home to ensure they’re in good working order. But with so many things to keep track of, it can be difficult to know where to start.
But don’t you worry. There are key areas of your home that you should double-check for safety purposes. Here are a few of them so you’ll have a better idea of what needs to be on your regular maintenance checklist.
Fireplaces and Chimneys
If you have a fireplace, it’s important to inspect it regularly to make sure it’s in good working order. Start by removing any debris, such as ashes or logs, that may have accumulated since you last used it. Then, take a look at the firebox. This is the part of the fireplace where the fire burns to make sure there are no cracks or damage.
While you’re at it, check the damper (the metal plate that opens and closes off the flue) to ensure it’s open and unobstructed. If not, give it a good cleaning so that the air can flow freely. And finally, take a look up the chimney to see if there’s any soot or debris build-up; if there is, hire a professional chimney sweep to come and take care of it.
Swimming pools are a great way to cool off during the summer, but it’s important to make sure that they are properly maintained to ensure safety. Here are a few tips on how to inspect your swimming pool:
First, check the water level. The water should be at least halfway up the sides of the pool. If it’s not, then you’ll need to add more water. Next, take a look at the condition of the decking and stairs. Make sure there are no cracked or loose boards, and that the stairs are in good condition. Also, check for trip hazards around the pool area.
Finally, inspect the pool itself for any cracks, leaks, or worse, faulty steel popping out. If you find any, then you’ll need to have them repaired by the best pool builders in your area before using the pool.
Smoke Alarms and Carbon Monoxide Detectors
According to the National Fire Protection Association, smoke alarms should be tested monthly and replaced entirely every 10 years. So if it’s been a while since you’ve replaced yours, now is a good time to do so. It’s also a good idea to check the batteries monthly and replace them as needed.
And don’t forget about carbon monoxide detectors! These devices are crucial for keeping your family safe from invisible gas leaks. Like smoke alarms, they should also be tested monthly and replaced every 10 years. So if yours are nearing the end of their lifespan, be sure to pick up some new ones soon.
Home Electrical Systems
Another area of your home that requires regular maintenance is the electrical system. Start by checking all your outlets and switches to make sure they’re working properly; if not, you may need to hire an electrician to come and take a look. Additionally, inspect all the cords in your home for fraying or other damage; if you see any damage, replace the cord immediately.
Finally, take a close look at your home’s main electrical panel (aka breaker box). Make sure all the circuit breakers are labelled correctly and haven’t sustained any damage; if everything looks good here, then your home’s electrical system is in good shape!
Roof, Gutters, and Downspouts
Many homeowners don’t think about their roofs until there’s a problem. But a little preventive maintenance can go a long way toward keeping your roof in good condition.
First, take a look at the exterior of your roof. Are there any missing or damaged shingles? If so, you’ll need to have them replaced as soon as possible to prevent water from leaking into your home. Next, head up to the attic and take a look at the underside of your roof. Are there any signs of leaks or water damage? If so, you’ll need to have roof repairs made as soon as possible to prevent further damage to your home.
Inspecting your gutters and downspouts may not seem like an important safety task, but trust us—it is! Clogged gutters can cause water buildup on your roof, which can lead to serious leaks or even collapse. So clean out your gutters regularly (at least twice a year), and make sure they’re free of debris like leaves or twigs.
While you’re up there, inspect your downspouts as well; they should be firmly attached to the gutters and draining properly away from your foundation (about 6-10 feet away is ideal). If they’re not draining properly or are detached from the gutters, it may be time to call professionals to do the hard work for you.
Doors and Locks
Finally, it’s important to regularly inspect your doors and locks to make sure they’re in good working condition. Here are some tips on how to do a door and lock inspection:
- Look at the door frame to see if it’s cracked or damaged. If so, the door may not be able to close properly or may not be as sturdy against forced entry.
- Make sure the lock is properly aligned with the strike plate. If not, it may not latch properly or may be easier to pick.
- Check the condition of the strike plate. It should be screwed into the door frame securely and shouldn’t be loose or have gaps around it.
- Test the doorknob and deadbolt to make sure they turn smoothly. If they’re stiff or difficult to turn, it could indicate that the mechanism is damaged.
- Have a professional locksmith and/or key cutters check the locks periodically to make sure they’re in good working condition and up to current security standards.
As a homeowner, it’s important to regularly inspect different parts of your house to ensure they’re in good working order. By double-checking items like smoke alarms, carbon monoxide detectors, electrical outlets and switches, gutters and downspouts regularly, you can help prevent accidents and ensure that your family stays safe in case of an emergency.