June is National Safety Month! Some of the best ways to keep your home safe this month and the rest of the year are to perform preventative maintenance so you can trust that your house can handle an emergency. Common preventative maintenance that should be performed can often get overlooked, but to ensure that you remain safe and your home’s re-sale value stays high, check out these things you should do and how often you should do them.
This summer, keep your Twin Cities home safe by taking care of some home maintenance on common safety features within your home.
According to the U.S. Fire Administration (USFA), smoke detectors should be tested at least once a month and batteries should be changed once or twice a year. By keeping up with regular testing for your smoke detector, you can ensure that your family stays safe should there be a fire.
The USFA also recommends completely replacing your smoke detectors every 10 years or less depending on manufacturer recommendations. Even if you’ve performed regular maintenance and your device is still functional, you should be proactive in replacing it before the end of a smoke detectors normal life span.
Checking Carbon Monoxide Levels
Since 2001 it’s been recommended by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission that every home have a carbon monoxide (CO) monitor and that every homeowner have their fuel-burning appliances inspected professionally once a year. While there are CO detectors at home, it is generally best to hire a professional to test your CO levels throughout your house as they can help identify and fix any problems while on site.
However, there are things you can do this summer to reduce exposure to CO:
- Keep gas appliances adjusted properly
- When replacing an unvented space heater, consider buying a vented one
- Use the proper fuel in kerosene space heaters
- Open flues when fireplaces are in use
- Do not idle your car inside the garage
- Have a professional perform annual inspections
Replacing Fire Extinguishers
If you don’t have a fire extinguisher in your home, then first step should be to go get one. If you do have one, do you know the guidelines for when to replace or recharge it?
According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), non-rechargeable fire extinguishers should be removed, discarded, and replaced every 12 years (unless the manufacturer specifies a shorter timeframe). For rechargeable fire extinguishers, the NFPA recommends having them hydrostatically tested and recharged every six years.
Extinguishers should also undergo professional inspections once a year to ensure that they will work in case of an emergency.
Checking Locks on Doors and Windows
Another common and overlooked safety feature in all homes are door and window locks. Locks are the first line of defense if someone tries to enter your home without permission, so it’s important to keep them in the best shape.
Take the time this summer to do a quick inspection of your locks – are they poor quality? Maybe you bought a house in which the contractor tried to save a quick buck and installed a low-quality lock – if so, now is the perfect time to replace them with superior products to keep your home safe!
Another thing to look for – are your locks old and worn out? Look for signs of stress, such as tarnish, rust, stiff or extremely loose locks. Any of these could be signs that your locks are damaged and should be replaced with new ones to prevent any unwanted entries into your home!
Regular Home Inspections
This one may catch some people off guard – but did you know that home inspections aren’t just pertinent when buying a house? You should have your home inspected every five years as preventative maintenance! This is so a professional has a chance to catch potential problems before they are big enough to break the bank. A professional home inspector, like AmeriSpec, should come in once every five years to look at things such as:
- Crawl spaces
- And more!
As the number one cause of lung cancer among non-smokers, radon levels in your home can pose a significant health risk. Whether you’re just buying a house, getting ready to sell or you’ve lived in your home for ages – schedule radon testing today! If radon levels are higher than they should be, you can have a radon mitigation system installed to protect the health of you and your loved ones.
Here at AmeriSpec, we want to celebrate National Safety Month with you by helping ensure that your home is as safe as possible! Give us a call today at 952-854-5110 or contact us to learn more about what we can do for you!