When you’re purchasing a new home, you’ll have a lot of factors to think about. Not only do you need to find a huge amount of money for those initial deposits, legal fees, and checks, but you also need to pack up your entire life and transport it to a new location. All of that work can lead to a significant amount of stress, meaning that you end up forgetting about essential things like home safety.
It’s important to remember that although you may have paid to have a home inspector evaluate your property before you moved in – there’s always the chance that a few hazards went unchecked. Homes are brimming with potential risks as the second most common location for accidental injuries, and keeping your family safe means being aware of the dangers.
As a new homeowner, it can be difficult to track down all the potential threats that could damage your property, or pose a risk to your family. That’s why we’ve put together this comprehensive checklist of things to consider when you move into your new home.
Starting with the basics, these safety inspections should help you to ensure that every part of your home is sturdy, and secure.
- Change the locks on doors, windows, sheds, garages, and any other access point to your home or property.
- Install a new alarm system, with outdoor lights if possible.
- Clean air filters and ducts around the home, and check that the AC is working appropriately. If the heating system is not thoroughly checked it can allow toxic gasses to enter the home.
- Examine paint or peeling paints on walls, radiators, and baseboards for signs of lead.
- Install safes per your specific security needs – including gun safes, fire safes, and small safes for valuables and documents.
- Check all smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors throughout the home, and install fire extinguishers for each floor of the house.
- Track down the main circuit breaker and determine how to use it.
- Develop a fire safety plan and escape route for the entire family.
- Find local emergency numbers for plumbers, electricians, poison and pest control.
Kitchen and Bathrooms
Kitchens and bathrooms are some of the most dangerous rooms in the home. Brimming with heat, moisture, and the potential for toxic substances like mold, these rooms need to be carefully evaluated for various risks.
- Ensure that washer and dryer vents have plenty of space to expel hot air, and regularly clean dryer vents to avoid fires.
- Check for exposed wires around the bathroom or kitchen that could easily lead to electrocution
- Check that all appliances in the kitchen work, and that outlets are secure.
- Ensure that electric and gas appliances like ovens and hobs work appropriately – without any excessive risks.
- Install non-slip mats and adhesive strips in bathrooms.
- Install grab-rails and bars to help promote stability around the bathtub and shower
- Keep a first-aid kit fully stocked at all times.
- Find out where water meters and gas meters are.
- Check that faucets and toilets work.
- Examine walls and ceilings for stains, signs of mold, or water leaks.
Living Rooms and Bedrooms
The living room and bedroom is where many of us spend a great deal of our “bonding” time, cuddling up with loved ones in front of the television, or settling down for sleep. Unfortunately, they can also be home to their own unique set of threats.
- Clear away any exposed wires or wiring that might represent a tripping or electrocution hazard.
- Clean ceiling fans that may have gathered dust.
- Ensure that all windows and doors are sealed to allow for energy efficiency and home comfort.
- Install outlet covers if you have children.
- Install a small safe to keep documents and valuables safe from prying hands.
- Keep cords to lamps, televisions, and other appliances out of high-traffic areas.
- Replace worn plugs and electrical sockets before they become a hazard.
- Keep curtains and other flammable materials away from fireplaces and radiators.
- Hire an electrician to check that light fittings have been properly installed.
Garden and Garages
Finally, garages and gardens are also an important part of your property, and an essential element to be aware of when it comes to home safety.
- Trim bushes so criminals have nowhere to hide.
- Provide outdoor lighting to add extra security and walkway safety.
- Update garage and shed locks.
- Clean gutters to prevent roof damage.
- Keep glues and adhesives in garages out of children’s reach.
- Ensure electric garage doors have “safety stop” features to prevent injury.
- Trim trees that present a falling hazard to your home.