It was Benjamin Franklin who said, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure” and the start of the year is a good time to invest in some preventative measures for your home. Turn that rainy day into a winter checkup … and show the kids what you’re doing so they learn some home safety basics too!
- Check your smoke detectors. It might feel like you just checked ’em, but have you noticed the time vortex we’re in? It seems like just yesterday we all bought our home breadmaking books with plans to conquer quarantine sourdough … well, that was about 2 years ago. Since the pandemic started, we should’ve checked our smoke detectors over 20 times! (I haven’t … but I should have! Do it once a month.)
- Check your carbon monoxide detectors. From the office of State Fire Marshal, Oregon laws require all homes being sold or rented to have working CO alarms, if they meet any of the following:
- Homes that contain a CO source.
- 2011 or newer homes, regardless of the presence of a CO source.
- Existing home undergoes reconstruction, alteration, or repair in which a building permit is required.
- Check your Fire Extinguisher. Is it older than your child … who’s now in college … Might be time to replace! Check the gauge to make sure it’s in the green. For a deep dive on fire extinguisher safety, go here!
- Clean gutters. This prevents rot and prevents critters from getting too cozy in the debris.
- Install weather stripping. Got a drafty door letting too much cold in? Weather stripping to the rescue, keeping you warmer and saving you money on utilities.
- Clean fireplaces & chimneys. They can get gunky when they go too long without a clean and said gunk (“creosote” technically) can become highly flammable when it sits too long in its own … gunk!
- Insulate your pipes. A burst pipe leads to water damage which leads to an expensive headache. There are different insulation techniques for different pipes and I found this one from Consumer Reports to be a good primer.
- Have a back-up plan for a snow-induced power outage. Flashlights, batteries, extra charging packs for our myriad devices. Canned food (don’t forget the can opener.) Wine (don’t forget the bottle opener.) Oh, and maybe a paperback book … remember them?!
Home you’re staying warm and safe and that your new year is off to a great start!