Ensuring your New Home is a Safe Home

You’re settling into your new home since moving, and have hung some pictures and begun unpacking your belongings. But have you ensured you are living in a safe house? Although this is of utmost importance, it can often take a back burner to the unpacking, organizing and making your new house your home.

You’ve heard it before- check your smoke detectors! Ensure you have a functioning smoke detector on each floor, and preferably just outside of all sleeping areas. Ensure you develop an escape plan as well in case of fire, and always have a non-expired fire extinguisher in a central area of your home. It’s also important to have a working carbon monoxide detector in your home, and a good idea to have one on each floor. Make sure you’re changing the batteries on these units and testing them at the recommended intervals. A good rule of thumb is to do this when the time change occurs twice a year. Of course, when you first move in, insert new batteries in all these units and test them, no matter what time of year it is.

It’s well established how important it is to test for carbon monoxide, but there is another gas that could be seeping into your home at unacceptable (and life-threatening) levels that is not so widely discussed. This is Radon, and one cost effective way it can be tested for is by purchasing a kit at various home improvement stores or the internet. Check online on Health Canada’s website for more information, and follow the testing kits instructions.

You will want to ensure your water heater temperature is set at a level that won’t scald should the hot water get turned on full blast. If you have children or someone elderly in your home, this is of utmost importance. Finding the right temperature may take some fine tuning, as you need to keep the temperature high enough so that bacteria doesn’t grow in the tank. Check with your local health unit for temperature guidelines.

Young children love to explore, and in doing so tend to stick things where they don’t belong. Enter electrical outlet covers. There are different versions of these widely available, and invaluable when ensuring the safety of your child. Don’t risk your child getting electrocuted by forgetting to block off your outlets. You may consider going an extra step and having tamper-proof outlets installed throughout your new home. Home improvement stores sell such outlets, and this might be the route you decide to go. Have a licensed electrician install these to ensure it’s done correctly.

These are just a few tips to get you started safety proofing your home. By doing what you can to make your new home safe for your family when you first move in, you will minimize the chance of someone getting hurt. You can sleep easier knowing you’ve done all you can to ensure your family’s safety. So stop unpacking those boxes- and go make your new home a safe place to live!