Moving into a new place can be an exciting time for anyone. Some see it as the start of a new life, especially when moving to a new state or city. Before you let too much excitement pass over you, it’s important to consider several steps in making sure that your new property is at the proper standards of safety.
It’s easy to overlook some things about your new place that you might assume is already set, so some responsibilities simply lie with you as the new owner or renter of a place. Take some time to consider some of the following steps:
1. Find the main circuit breaker
This isn’t necessarily the first thing you absolutely must do when moving in to your new place, but it’s certainly an important step to take. Knowing where your circuit breaker is will allow to know where to run in the even of a power outage and so forth. It’s also important to have a full comprehension of the labeling, so you know what controls what part of your home.
2. Are there smoke and carbon monoxide detectors? Do they work?
Now this is something you want to immediately consider when moving in. Smoke and carbon monoxide (CO) detectors are an essential part of any home, and they can mean the difference between life and death in the event of a fire. Make sure that all smoke and CO detectors are fully functioning by hitting the “test” button that should be visible on the devices.
Also think about how many detectors there are throughout the home. While one is the bare minimum, you ideally want detection in each room where possible (best locations include each bedroom, the living room and the kitchen). The more detection there is, the better chance of risks being caught before serious issues arise. You’ll also have to make sure you keep up with the batteries to make sure the detectors continue to operate. Batteries should be replaced about once a year, but you’ll want to periodically check on them by pressing the test button.
Food for thought, a home catches on fire every 86 seconds, which leads to an injury every 34 minutes. A 2015 report by the National Fire Protection Association stated that there were over 500,000 structure fires in the U.S., resulting in nearly 2,700 deaths and 13,000 injuries. The estimated property damage from these fires was $10.3 billion in losses. These statistics are greatly reduced when there are fully functioning smoke detectors in the home.
3. Change The Locks
If your new home had previous tenants or owners, it’s critical to change all of the locks. This is especially applicable if you’re renting your home. Previous tenants could have easily had their keys replicated before turning in their original keys to the owners. Make sure that this is okay with your landlord – but it is unlikely that you’ll run into any problems.
Having the locks changed will ensure that only you and your family have key access to your home. If you’re interested in automated locking that can be done from your phone, be sure to learn about what ADT Pulse can provide.
4. Get to know your neighbors
You don’t have to become best friends with your neighbors, but it is good to familiarize yourself with others who live around you. Building trust among neighbors helps foster a stronger community. You don’t want to necessarily let your guard down with trust when it comes to home security, but having a solid base of knowledge of who your neighbors are can help change the dynamic of your living situation.