Every homeowner has a list of things that they can’t stop worrying about. Whether it’s weather damage or fretting about whether today is the day that the oven finally gives up and stops working, you’re never going to be short of things to fret about on a sleepless night. It comes with the territory, but one of the best ways to help you feel a bit more secure is to conduct regular and thorough safety checks in and around your home.
You can’t prevent the unexpected happening, but you can identify problem areas and make sure that you stay on top of any foreseeable risks. Here are some of the most important safety checks that everyone should make.
Test Your Smoke Alarms And Carbon Monoxide Detectors
There are very few fears more powerful than the idea that you won’t notice a fire or gas leak in our home, so this really is one of the most important safety checks to make. You should have at least one smoke alarm on each floor of your home at the very minimum. Common sense dictates that you will be better protected the more you have, so it may well be worth installing another alarm in an area that could be a problem.
You should ideally be checking your smoke alarm at least once a month. As a rule, change your smoke alarm’s battery once a year and replace the whole thing once every ten years. The same goes for carbon monoxide detectors. You can learn more about making your home safe from fire here.
Book Your Boiler In To Be Serviced
We all notice when the hot water goes off, but there are more pressing reasons why you should have your boiler serviced than making sure that you can run a bath. Some boilers can start leaking carbon monoxide if they become damaged. Less life-threatening, but still serious, is the fact that you will be running up higher energy bills if your boiler is not working properly. If a boiler that hasn’t been properly maintained causes damage to your home, you may not be able to claim insurance.
So, with that being said, how often should you be getting someone in to check your boiler? Individual warranties may vary, but you really should be looking at hiring an engineer once a year. A new boiler can cost anywhere between £600 to £2000, so an inspection is worth paying for.
Get Your Electrics Checked
When you buy a new home, you are inheriting someone else’s old electrical system. Just because it was safe when you bought the property, doesn’t mean you have any guarantee on how well it’s going to age. Bad wiring can cause electric shocks, not to mention other more serious risks to your home.
You should be getting an electrical installation condition report every ten years for installations in privately owned homes, and once every five years in rented properties. An EICR will give you a clear idea of what condition the circuits are in and if they are safe, it will tell you if someone has installed any defective wiring, and it will tell you what, if any, work needs to be done to make everything safe. Trade Facilities Services offer EICRs from £99 and they have details about what you can do to prepare for them on their website.
Don’t Wait For A Problem To Have Your Plumbing Inspected
Most of us tend to put off getting check-ups until there’s a problem. But do you really want to wait until the water in your pipes stops moving before you bring a plumber in? There are so many potential issues going on under the surface that you may not be aware of, and you could save a lot of time and money by getting a regular home plumbing system check.
For example, if you have large trees on or near your property, the roots may be putting pressure on underground pipes. Older homes built with steel pipes may be facing serious deterioration without you realising it. It’s always a good idea to have a plumbing inspection done when you move into a new home, but as a rule you should be getting a plumber in at least once every two years. They will identify any problem areas, make sure that the materials used are good quality and are holding up, and spot potential issues before you face serious damage.
Don’t Sleep On Checking Your Burglar Alarm And Security System
Having a burglar alarm and home security system installed is a great way to improve your peace of mind. But just like everything else in your home, you need to be checking it regularly to make sure it’s operating properly. In general, it’s advised that you have a full home security system inspection conducted by a professional once a year. However, there are other reasons why you might want to perform spot checks yourself more regularly.
For example, a big home renovation project can lead to things being moved or knocked out of place. If your security system relies on wi-fi, you will want to double-check it after you’ve had any issues with your broadband connection. Similarly, if you have experienced any sustained power outage, you will want to run a test to make sure that nothing has been disrupted while it was on battery power.
Don’t Forget About The Little Things
It’s easy enough to remember the big checks that you need a professional for but remember to keep an eye on the smaller essentials. If you have a fire-extinguisher for your home, you should replace it every five years, or every ten years if it is a CO2 fire extinguisher. Check your power outlets at least once a month and call an electrician if they are hot to the touch. Make sure that your emergency phone numbers are up to date and easy to find. Do you have a flashlight in case of a power outage? Is the person you gave a spare key to still nearby?
Disclosure: This is a featured post.