Fred cares so we thought it would be best to provide a few more tips to care for your home year-round.

Fire Safety

One of the main causes of fires in the home is dryer vents becoming clogged because they are not being cleaned regularly. These vents should be checked every year at a minimum. In older homes, electrical outlets and light switches can easily cause fires and should be updated. Make sure your smoke detectors are working properly. Change batteries every six months. A good rule of thumb is to change them when the time changes in the spring and fall. Also, check to see if ladders can be securely hooked over a second or third story window ledge to be used for escape in case of a fire. It’s critical to make sure people have an escape path from any room, even the basement.

Fire extinguishers should be mounted in the hall, kitchen, or furnace room 3-4 feet away from appliances so they are easily accessible.

Homeowners should be aware of where water/gas shutoff valves and electrical panel boxes are located to ensure they can shut things down when a pipe bursts or a fire starts. All water/gas cutoffs and the electrical main should be clearly marked and noted on a map of the house for easy access in an emergency.

Gas Safety

If you have appliances that use natural gas, make sure there are fire and carbon monoxide detectors near these appliances and in bedrooms to make sure any leaks are detected. Appliances such as gas powered hot water heaters or gas ranges should be replaced with ones that have electronic (automatic) pilots so there is no gas flame that burns continuously.

Safety for Kids

Just today we met with a homeowner whose stairs had horizontal railing that her child could fit through. We devised a plan to install Plexiglas panels to make sure the child stays safe.

Other simple tips for ensuring your kids are safe include:

  • Don’t leave large boxes or planters around because kids can fall or crawl into them.
  • Install gates at the top of stairs.
  • Install child safety locks on cabinets.
  • Have safety locks on doors to basement  stairways.
  • Try to avoid using extension cords, especially if kids are teething.
  • Unused sockets should have outlet covers.
  • Ensure that sharp table corners are protected.
  • Ensure venetian blinds are safe and pull cords are securely tied up, to make sure they’re not within a child’s reach. A simple twist-tie can do the trick in most cases.

Safety for Seniors

If door openings are too small or challenging to get through for someone with a walker or wheelchair, it is important to make them more accommodating by widening them. Also, it is common for elderly homeowners to install handheld showerheads so they can sit down safely in the shower. Installing lighting properly throughout the home, such as in stairways, hallways, bathrooms, and bedrooms, is key to keeping the elderly safe. As mentioned earlier, we highly recommend that seniors have a map of their water/gas cutoff valves and electrical panel box in case of emergency.

Electrical Safety

Upgrading your electrical panel is important, especially in older homes where a fuse box exists. Flexible dryer ducts should be replaced immediately with galvanized steel ducts. If you have a recirculating microwave and you’re capable of venting it to the exterior, we recommend that as well. Also, don’t overload outlets with multiple extension cords.

Water Safety

Shut off water valves in order to minimize the risk of pipes freezing during the winter. Water should be drained from exterior pipes and hose bibs. In addition, all water hoses should be removed, drained and stored during the colder months.

People who have had water issues in the past – whether a result of a leak or seepage – should be aware that this can lead to mold, which can in turn lead to health problems. It’s important to take care of this as soon as you can. Here at fred, we can help you by removing areas that have molded, like drywall and shower grout. If you have any questions or need assistance, don’t hesitate to schedule Fred.