When you first move into your new home it is a good idea to take care of a few small things that can make a big difference when it counts.
- Change the locks on all your exterior doors. Unless your house is brand new you never know how many strangers may have a key to your front door.
- Replace the batteries in all the smoke detectors in the house. Record the date in your calendar so you will remember to do the same thing next year!
- Unless your heating/air units are new, have the vents and filters cleaned or replaced.
- Create a fire-hazard plan with your family and conduct a practice drill with the children.
- Replace or clean the exhaust hood filter above the range.
- Check all your electric outlets for loose-fitting plugs, as these can pose a fire hazard. These outlets are inexpensive and fairly easy to replace.
- Have the fireplace chimney cleaned. While you are at it go ahead and install a rain cap and a screen to keep the birds out of your chimney.
We all want to feel safe in our own homes. Accidents, especially tragic ones, aren’t something we want to think about. But when it comes to accidents, the old adage, “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure” is doubly true! I thought I would share with you some precautions against some of the most common household accidents.
- Never leave standing liquids unattended. Stay within arm’s reach while your child is bathing or is near any container of water. If the phone rings, let it ring; stay with your child.
- Prevent tap water scalds by adjusting the temperature on your hot water heater to 120° F.
- Keep medicines and hazardous household chemicals locked up and out of sight. Use child-resistant packaging for medicines and hazardous household chemicals, and call 1-800-222-1222 if a poisoning occurs.
- Cut the loops on window-blind cords and call 1-800-506-4636 for a free repair kit.
- Make sure your hairdryer has a large rectangular plug. The immersion protection device prevents electrocution if the hairdryer is dropped in water.
- Change the battery in your smoke alarm when you change your clock’s setting in October or November.
- Have a professional check your furnace for carbon monoxide leaks and your chimney for blockages; put a CO alarm in the hallway near every separate sleeping area.
- Prevent electrocutions by installing a ground fault circuit interrupter (GFCI) in your household outlets.
- Installing Arc Fault Circuit Interrupters (AFCIs) can prevent electrical fires. AFCIs can sense electrical arc and trip the circuit.
- Babies on adult beds risk suffocation from hidden hazards such as entrapment between the bed and wall; entrapment involving the bed frame, headboard, and footboard; or soft bedding such as pillows or thick quilts and comforters.