A Year-End Safety Check-up for Your House or Apartment

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A Year-End Safety Check-up for Your House or Apartment

Winter time is the perfect season for snuggling up on your couch and counting your blessings. And as you revel in the comfort and safety of your house, perhaps you should think about ways to continue keep the good times rolling…

Here are a few action steps you can take to get your house ready for another year of domestic bliss.

Double check all machinery.

According to this personal injury attorney firm, faulty exercise equipment is often to blame for fitness accidents. In fact, 460,000 people are injured every year after using treadmills and other exercise equipment.

Go through your house and inspect all the various machines that fill it. From washing machines to refrigerators to your HVAC system. Make a list and then jot down when they last had a maintenance check. Is each machine in good working order?

Have you heard some questionable noises from your HVAC? If you can’t remember when your machine last had a tune up, chances are high that it could stand to use one. A little preventative maintenance could lengthen the life of your machine and help you get extra years from it.

Safeguard against fall hazards.

The CDC states that in one year alone, 2.8 million people were injured due to falls at home. Even if you are not at an age where falls become a life or death health hazard, they can still do damage and take time to recover from. If you find yourself frequently tripping over a rug or some other type of flooring, consider having it replaced. Low coffee tables placed in awkward spaces can cause a hindrance to moving through your house.

Use this time to reevaluate their position, too. Place handhold bars in toilets and washrooms and railings along stairways. Make sure each area of your house has sufficient lighting for easy navigation.

Despite these improvements, if you find yourself still falling or stumbling, get your eyes checked. A visit to see your family physician might uncover a balance problem. Getting that sorted out should be a priority.

Get acquainted with your electrical system.

Are any of your wires starting to look old or worn? Do outlets feel hot to the touch? If the answer is yes to any of these questions, get an electrician to take a look. You might have wires or outlets that need to be replaced. If left alone, old or faulty wiring could become a fire hazard. During a 4 year period, US fire departments responded to 45,210 home fires that were started due to electrical malfunctions.

To keep outlets from becoming overloaded, experts recommend that you only have one high wattage machine plugged into an outlet at a time. Dust that accumulates on top of wires could become a fire hazard, too. So, when you move through the house with a duster, include wires and electrical outlets to your list of items to dust.

Install smoke detectors.

If your house or apartment did not come with a smoke or carbon monoxide detector, have one installed on each floor of the house and a monitor in each room. Once that is done, test each monitor to make sure it is in good working order.

And repeat the tests at the top of each month. Additionally, you and your family should know the number of who to call should your detector sound an alarm.

Have an emergency kit in your house.

How would you fare if a storm blew through your area, causing electrical outages and making it impossible to get to a grocery store? Do you have candles and flashlights in an easily accessible place? What about enough bottled drinking water and nonperishable food in your house for a couple of days? Knowing what extreme weather conditions are common to your area can help you prepare accordingly.

Build your emergency kit based off expert-approved checklists, such as the ones found on FEMA. They suggest storing 3 days’ worth of canned or dried foods that will not need replacing for a year, at least. And if you have children or elderly members in your family, make sure to think about and include items particular to their needs.

When it comes to safety matters, it pays to be extra cautious. Even if you find out that nothing was amiss, you will get peace of mind and the ability to rest easy at night. What better way to start off the New Year, then to know that your house is safe on all fronts?

Editorial Team
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