Make Your House Safe This New Year

17 December 2014
 Categories: , Blog

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The end of the year is almost here and it's time to make resolutions. Many homeowners are resolving to make their homes safer in 2015. Follow these tips to protect your property and the people living in your home. 

Test Your Smoke Alarms

Make a resolution to test your smoke alarms on a regular basis. The National Fire Protection Association recommends that you test your smoke alarms at least once per month. Pick a date every month that you will test your smoke alarms, and mark this day on your calendar or day planner. 

Install GFCI Outlets

GFCI (ground fault circuit interrupter) outlets are designed to cut the power when an imbalance of electricity flowing from the hot to neutral wires occurs. This protects people from electrical shock. GFCI outlets are recommended for use in bathrooms, kitchens, on outdoor outlets, and on any outlet where moisture is prevalent. While many newer homes are built with GCFI outlets already installed in these areas, older homes may not have these types of outlets. For the sake of safety, these outlets should be installed by a licensed electrician, such as McDonald Electric

Evaluate the Locations of your Household Chemicals

Young children and pets are likely to play with--or even drink--household chemicals. Resolve to check the locations of all your household chemicals and install baby locks on any easy-to-reach cabinets where chemicals are stored. Alternatively, consider switching out some of your dangerous chemicals for safer alternatives. For example, anti-freeze comes in pet-safe varieties. Even the pet-safe varieties are not good for animals to drink, but non-pet-safe types are lethal. 

Test your Garage Door Sensors

As of January 1, 1993, all newly installed garage doors were legally required to come equipped with sensors that would detect moving objects and items within the path of the closing door. When an object enters the path of the door, these sensors stop the door from closing. Garage door sensors prevent children and animals from becoming caught in the path of the door, and ultimately, save lives. 

Testing your garage door sensors is easy and worthwhile. Once per month or once per quarter, open your garage door then place a board or a box in front of the sensors. Sensors are located at either side of the garage door opening, near the ground. With the box or board in place, try to turn on the garage. If the door closes over the box or board, then the sensors are broken and should be professionally repaired right away.

Following these tips will help you keep your property safe into the new year. More importantly, you'll keep your family members safe as well.