In the advent of modern technology, there are many different types of home safety devices available in the market. As homeowners, we also want to be in the loop with all these devices to keep our homes functional and our families safe, which is why we purchase them. Once you have installed your devices and put them to good use, it now becomes your responsibility that they be maintained in tiptop shape at all times– otherwise they become useless.
It is important that you inspect your home safety devices on a regular basis to ensure that your devices are functioning as they should. This way, you get to protect your investment in your home and more importantly the people living in it. Get into the habit of doing maintenance checks on a regular basis. Put them into your calendar if you need to. You can do them one at a time, or all at once — whatever works best for you. But the important thing is that you do it!
Most of these checks don’t require any special skills or tools. And you can always find all the instructions you could possibly need online. So stop putting it off!
Here’s a few important maintenance tips to get started on this weekend.
One of the most common devices in the home is the smoke alarm system. Ensure that the alarm is functioning so that it can serve its purpose of detecting fires. First make sure that they have working batteries in them. Next, when you opt to test the alarm system, make sure that everyone at home is informed so it doesn’t cause panic. Also, if your smoke alarm is wired to a monitored security system, notify the company about the test before you have them show up at your door.
To test the alarm, spray a smoke detector test aerosol onto the alarm. The spray can be purchased at a hardware store or even online. After 5 to 10 seconds, the alarm should sound, which means that the unit is fine. If it doesn’t and you just replaced the batteries, try cleaning the detector and do the test procedure again. If it doesn’t work still, replace your detector right away.
To turn off the alarm, you’ll need to suck out the test material with a hand-held vacuum cleaner. Newer alarm devices have silence buttons in them that you can use to turn the alarm off.
Carbon monoxide alarms
Accumulation of carbon monoxide in your homes can be very dangerous. Aside from flues, chimneys and vents to protect you from the danger of carbon monoxide, it is also a good idea to add an alarm which will give you a warning that you need to ventilate the area or evacuate quickly. Some system-connected detectors also alert a monitoring service that can dispatch emergency services if necessary. However, you need to know that a carbon monoxide alarm has a limited lifetime, although some currently last up to 6 years. Manufacturers will specify when it should be replaced and you should always take note of it so that you do not miss out on replacing them and end up with a non-functioning alarm.
Most household fires result from gas leakages. Your gas appliances – i.e. gas boiler, gas stove and gas fireplace should be checked at least once every year and serviced regularly (depending on manufacturer’s instructions). In addition to this, check your flues, chimneys and air vents as well. These play an important role when it comes to gas appliances as they allow the products of combustion a way to escape from the home as well as ensuring a good supply of combustion air to the appliances. These should be cleaned regularly and remain clear all the time.
Stove grills, Outdoor BBQ equipments
Make sure that after each use, you clean up your stove grills properly by wiping them down. This helps to prevent build up of spilled fats, oils and burnt foods that can aggravate fire even when it starts from somewhere else. The same goes with your outdoor BBQ. Remove excess fat and oils after every use. Also make sure that all your BBQ fittings and connections are regularly checked.
Air exchange units
While not exactly a “safety” device, pumping and circulating clean air in your home should be something you are concerned with. If you never clean your filters or ducts, you’ll begin circulating more dust throughout your home, which isn’t healthy for anyone.
Air exchange units should have their filter looked into at least every three months or when dirt and dust becomes visible on the exhaust registers or on the wall surrounding it, it is a sign for you to have them cleaned out. Depending on the kind of unit you have, procedures may differ. Check the manuals on how you can do them. Part of maintaining the filters is to check that it fits snugly into the frame so air doesn’t just flow around it, return ducts filters should also be cleaned or replaced if needed.
What devices do you have in your home that you check regularly?
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