Moving to a new house can be lengthy process involving weeks of planning, packing and organising. But, before you unpack those boxes, there is one final thing to add to that long list! It is imperative to perform home safety checks once you have bought your new home. A few simple checks can help to ensure the safety of you and your family. It may all sound a little daunting but fear not! We are here to walk you through step by step.
- Check your electrical system
The first check that we recommend you run, is to check the property’s electrical system. Root out any frayed wires, ensure that cords are running along doorways. Get to know that breaker box too – learn which circuits operate in which rooms. Electrical issues can pose a serious threat to safety. If you have children, we urge you to be particularly thorough with this step. Children are known to like sticking fingers in sockets! It may well be a good idea to implement safety covers over unused power outlets. Check that your appliances are in good condition and call in specialists if you suspect that they aren’t.
- Check those alarms
We also suggest that should your home be equipped with safety alarms, check those batteries! Run checks on each alarm to ensure that they are in working order. Be sure that each family member is aware which alarm is which and that they know how to act accordingly should it sound. Familiarise yourself with setting and resetting any operating home alarm systems. Do you have a separate alarm for the shed? Check that too!
We also advocate that somewhere in the house, you place a carbon-monoxide detector and smoke alarm. These are small and discreet but extremely important. Installing alarms help to secure your belongings and keep your family safe. These alarms don’t last forever, so remember to stay on the safe side by replacing all smoke alarm every 10 years, and carbon-monoxide detectors every 5 to 7 years. If you’ve just moved in and aren’t sure how old the existing alarms are, switch them out for new units immediately. Ensuring your alarms are up-to-date and compliant with your local legislation is also another key consideration to keep in mind. In Queensland, a new legislation passed in 2017, stating that homeowners and renters are required to install interconnected photoelectric smoke alarms in their property. Stay informed about any new or amended legislations in your local area and carry out regular alarm checks to ensure they’re working properly. Be sure to have the appropriate emergency reporting numbers available too.
- Home security
Although this step may seem a little extreme, we recommend that you consider changing the locks, especially if you have moved into an older property. It may be difficult to ascertain who has or has had keys to the property, so better to be safe than sorry. This is an investment but one that is valuable. We also urge that you check the windows. Windows are often identified as weak-spots in home security. Ensure that they all close and lock properly.
It is also a good idea to consider installing a home security system, or re-activating one if the property already has one. These systems are great for improving home security. They can include wireless home security products, security detection systems and CCTV security systems. With such a variety of options available, simply choose one from the market and if you’re unsure, do your research first.
- Check heating and cooling systems
Often a cursory inspection is done prior to moving in but it is always a good idea to give it another look over. Check that air vents are clear and in working order. Give any visible pipes the once-over and be vigilant about any rust, damage or leakages. It may also be worth getting a specialist in to check that all heating equipment is running smoothly. You don’t want the cold weather to arrive before discovering that your heating doesn’t work properly! It is always good to have a comprehensive understanding of how things work in the home. Make sure you know how to turn the water or power off should you ever need to.
- Guard your garage
Garages are often home to expensive tools, a variety of equipment and a beloved bike or two. If that’s the case, make sure you are protecting them as you would do your home. Never leave a garage unlocked, especially if it is connected to the house. There are lots of great products on the market including alarms and sensors that will ensure that the contents of your garage are kept safe. Fit robust padlocks to garage doors, windows and ensure that walls are solid enough not to be kicked in. Also, be sure to lock ladders away inside to prevent a thief being able to use them to gain access to upstairs windows.
You could also consider locking tools and more valuable items away in steel boxes that are fitted to the floor.
Moving to a new house is an incredibly exciting time but it also poses some safety risks. By following these simple steps, you can work to ensure that you, your family and your possessions remain safe. Don’t skimp on the safety checks and be sure to call in the professionals if needed! In addition, ensure your home safety systems are in place, so you can always have peace of mind.