Moving into a new home is a very exciting time, and can be quite busy for new homeowners. There is a lot to do, from the actual move itself, to beginning to unload all of your boxes. Once the dust has settled, most people begin to start turning the house into a home.
While new homeowners are often concerned with getting the home to look at how they like, that isn’t all they should be concerned with. The safety of your new home is also incredibly important and should be one of the first things you think about when you move.
With that in mind, this blog post is going to go over a new homeowner safety checklist. It will cover many different things that you as a new homeowner should do to ensure your new home is as safe as possible.
Install a Security System
One of the best things you can do to make your home safer is to install a security system. They can help prevent break-ins, and minimize the damage if they do occur. These systems will come with alarms, sensors and maybe even things like cameras and monitoring. All of these are designed to keep your home safe and ensure the authorities are contacted if anything were to happen.
Of course, be sure to educate yourself on how the system works to get the most out of it. The internet is a great resource to learn and study up on the various benefits, uses and functions of your system. For example, this is a recent blog post that explains a lot about some of the different armed settings of your system.
Make Sure to Change the Locks
When you first move in, something you should consider doing as soon as possible is changing the locks. Some people expect the locks to be automatically changed when they buy a new house, but this isn’t often the case. That often falls on the new homeowner. By changing the locks, you ensure that only you and your family will be able to enter the home when it’s locked.
If the same old locks are used, some potential issues could arise. Even if the old homeowner gave you the keys, there is no way to know how many sets of spare keys could be out in the world. In order to prevent this, simply reach out to a professional and change the locks/get new sets of keys.
Ensure All Sensors and Detectors are Working
Fires are responsible for almost $15 billion in property damages in the USA alone and lead to thousands of injuries and fatalities. Because of this major risk, your need to ensure that the smoke detectors in your home are working. They are one of the best ways to be alerted of a fire in your home before it’s too late.
In addition, to smoke detectors, your home should also include things like carbon monoxide detectors. Be sure to test and check these often, and make sure that they are functioning as expected. Check their batteries every now and then, as well. If these sensors aren’t working, your home and that inside of it could be at risk.
Examine All Electronics and Appliances
When moving into a new home, it is critical to examine all of the electronics and appliances in your home. This goes for things like your fridge, oven, TV, washing machine, dishwasher and any others. Be sure to look at and test each one, to make sure it is working and not suffering from any issues that could harm its functionality.
These issues could be caused by misuse, age of the item, improper placement or installation, or several others. It is better to be safe than sorry, so be sure to check these for issues before something goes wrong. If they are not working correctly, or the circuit is being overloaded, electrical fires can happen, which can be incredibly dangerous as you could imagine.
Take Steps to Prevent Falls and Injuries
Household falls and injuries are quite common, but there are some things you can do to reduce them. This includes removing clutter from the floor, using handrails, removing tripping hazards, and simply be careful when wearing slippery socks or when the floors are wet. Even things like adding a non-slip floor to your bathtub could help stop falls.
Also, make sure you are careful when moving around your new home. Floors might be slipperier than your old home, stairs might be steeper and there could be small lips on the ground in places where you didn’t expect. While you can likely never completely eliminate these falls, doing all you can to reduce them is a good idea.
Child and Pet-Proof Your Home
If your new house is going to be home for some children or pets, it is important to ensure it is a safe place for them to be. They are notoriously adventurous, and you can be sure that they will try to get in every nook and cranny that they can find. As a result, you need to “child and pet-proof” your home.
You should have baby gates up to protect children from stairs, and potentially put guards on tables or counter corners that they could bump their heads into. Be sure to keep all dangerous products out of reach, and potentially behind locked cabinets. The use of household cleaning products can also be dangerous for children and pets alike, so you need to use them safely.
Inspect the Pipes if Possible
Another important thing to check on your mission to make your home as safe as possible is to check the pipes. You should be on the lookout for not only leaks but also things like corrosion and stains from rust. If you notice problems, be sure to reach out to a professional to make sure they are handled correctly.
Also, be sure to check the walls and ceilings for signs of water damage or leaks as well. In a similar vein, find out how to shut off the water in the home. While you may never need to do this, a situation could arise where you need to and knowing this information could save you a lot of time and money.
Have an Escape Plan
This is a tip that most families will simply disregard or not think about, but it can be incredibly important. In case of a fire or other dire situation in your home, having an escape plan can be the difference between everyone being safe and tragedy striking. You and your family should establish a safe route out of the home, and also a meeting place outside.
Be sure to practice this plan from time to time. Many emergencies can occur in seconds and you have to think and act quickly to save yourself, your family and maybe a couple of your belongings. Hopefully, you will never have to put the plan into action for real, but it’s better to be prepared in case.
We hope that the safety tips and information in this article have been able to help you make sure your new home is as safe as possible. A safe home is a comfortable place to be, so taking the time to take the right safety precautions is always a good idea.