When you’re caring for your family you want them to stay safe and secure in your home. But often we see horror stories in the news where some aspect of a home’s safety and security system failed for a family. In order to prevent disaster, follow this home security checklist from room to room.
You may not be able to prevent everything that can go wrong, but at least you can be assured that your family gets out safe.
The kitchen is perhaps the most important room in a home where your family will be spending a lot of time. If your kitchen is large, you may even be watching TV there, or helping the kids with homework.
The single greatest concern is if you have gas or electrical appliances. Pull out the appliances at least once a year so you can inspect the plugs and cords for cracks, breaks, or burns. Once you do that, thoroughly scrub the walls and floors surrounding them. Often lint and dust can accumulate and be a fire hazard, as well as greasy cooking spills.
Ensure gas connections are secure if you have a gas stove with oven. While you’re checking for connections, take a peak under the sink to be sure that your pipes and drains aren’t leaking. Is the sink draining properly? If not, it could have a clog that could overflow your sink if it’s not looked after.
Clean the grill and blades of your hood fan. Give it a good vacuum. Check and see if all your electrical outlets are functioning well. Your kitchen should have a fire extinguisher in the near vicinity of your stove.
Dining Room Checklist
The dining room won’t take long to inspect, but you’ll still want to check that the outlets are working. If you have a chandelier or ceiling fan, give them a good cleaning, change light bulbs, and ensure they are functioning correctly.
Note that if you ever are checking light switches or outlets and they are often sparking that they should be checked by an electrician.
The hallways of the home will be the most used of any flooring space. They can also become collection areas for garbage and debris that you mean to get out of the house, but may forget. Over time this can lead to piles, which become a tripping hazard. They need to be removed.
The transition plates between flooring can become loose and be a tripping hazard too. These connect tiled floors to carpet or carpet to linoleum or hardwood floors. This is a good time to replace broken plates, or secure them down properly.
You’ll also want to check any light switches or electrical outlets, and get the ladder and change any burned out light-bulbs from ceiling lighting fixtures.
The main door to your condominium or house will be accessed from the hallway. Also examine your door. You may wish to apply a secondary lock to it or a sliding door bolt to shut for when you’re at home. If the door doesn’t have a peephole, you can install one to provide a way to see who is knocking at your door.
If you have a burglar alarm system, check the plug. Sometimes they burn too hot and need to be replaced. You may also wish to test the alarm to see if it actually works, and see if the siren is loud and can be heard.
Living Room Checklist
The living room may have carbon monoxide detectors, smoke alarms, and sprinkler heads. Ensure they’re dusted off. If they run on batteries, change them. Check the smoke alarms with a lighter to see they function properly.
If you have a gas or electric fireplace, wipe off the dust. Ensure that it’s functioning the way it should.
Electrical outlets and light switches should also be checked.
Check any patio doors and windows to ensure they are closing properly. The locks should engage securely. You may wish to install an extra set of locks on the windows or the patio door. If you have a sliding screen, you can install a bar so that the door can’t be lifted out.
If you have surge protectors or power bars for your home entertainment system, give them a check. If they’re more than ten years old it’s time to buy new ones.
Check your home theatre equipment and your lamps, air conditioners and other electrical devices. Anything older than twenty years should be replaced as it becomes more of a fire hazard. Make note to plan to replace anything that’s over ten years old.
Rugs can be a tripping hazard, particularly if you’ve got young children or elderly people there. If they can be walked over without kicking up the edges, they are fine. But if they’re small rugs that move all over the place, get rid of them.
There won’t be a lot to check in the bedroom besides the age of your lamps, ceiling fan, air conditioner, or television.
If you have an electrical box in the bedroom and it’s really old, it may be time to upgrade from a fuse box to a breaker box.
If there are area rugs on the floor, ensure they are secure and stay attached to the floor. You can always buy non-slip underlays that hold them securely in place. The last thing you need is to get up in the middle of the night and trip over them.
A carbon monoxide alarm is beneficial to have in both bedroom, kitchen, and living room, particularly if you have gas heating in your home.
Check the windows to see that they close properly. You can also check the window sills on all windows in your home. You may need to apply additional weatherproofing to conserve energy.
The bathroom light should be checked for burned out bulbs. The ceiling fan should have the plate removed and the blades cleaned at least once a year. If it sounds like it’s wearing down or not functioning, it may need to be replaced.
A good way to test the efficiency of a ceiling fan is to hold a tissue up to it. If the tissue stays in place, the fan is still powerful enough to pull air out. But if it drops to the ground, it’s time to buy a new one.
The sink and bathtub should drain well, and the toilet should flush properly. If water is draining too slow it could indicate a clog, which could lead to a flood in the future. Also examine under the sink and along the base of the bathtub for any pooled water or extra moisture.
Many people forget they even have a basement, as often it’s used for storage. Get down there a few times a year to check it out.
The first consideration is the furnace. You want to be certain that it’s functioning well. The hot water tank is also another concern. Vacuum and dust around your big equipment. Do not store boxes, wood, or anything around your furnace or hot water tank.
Check your basement for signs of moisture or mildew. This can quickly turn to mold, which can be nearly impossible to remove. It can be tempting to block all heating vents in rooms you don’t use, but it also has benefits of heating your entire home and preventing moisture from getting into the walls and floors. This could lead to the production of mold.
Ensure that all light switches and electrical outlets work in the basement. It can be tempting to not fix broken things, but you never know when you may need to convert the basement to a guest suite or extra bedroom for an older child. It’s best to stay on top of the repairs.
Laundry Room Checklist
You should give your dryer’s vents a good vacuum at least four times a year. Also do a good cleaning behind your big appliances, and pull them out and clean underneath.
Check the connections for the hot and cold water on your washing machine, as well as the sewage line. Make sure that there are no leaks and that there is no moisture on them that could indicate a leak. You may wish to grab a wrench and do a quick tightening.
Check All Other Rooms
Some people have other types of rooms in their house. Whether you have a home theater room, a recreation room, bar, or sitting room, check each room carefully for issues. The electrical and fire prevention systems are going to be your main concerns here.
Do Your Home Safety Checklist Today!!!
Check your home room-by-room for common security issues. Make a list of what’s wrong, then head to your local home improvement store to buy replacement gear. The sooner everything functions well, the safer your family is going to live a happy and secure life.