TWO MEN AND A TRUCK customers talking to their moving team

Safety tips to keep in mind when you own a home

-Written by Christina Baker

Moving into a new home gives you and your family a chance for new beginnings. You may be feeling a mix of emotions such as excitement and stress – after all, a new home means more responsibility. There are many different safety precautions that must be taken before you move, and we’re here to help break a few of them down for you!

Use this checklist to ensure proper safety precautions are taken before you move into your new space!

Smoke alarms and detectors

Make sure your home has enough smoke detectors throughout the entire house. Then, make sure each detector has batteries and test them to be sure they work properly. Keep some backup batteries just in case! It’s also a good idea to put carbon monoxide detectors on each level of the home.

Electrical

The best safety tip to live by for the electrical in your home is if it doesn’t look quite right, check it out. If you’re unfamiliar with electrical work, call an electrician to double check that everything is how it should be. Since frayed wires and cords can easily start fires, it’s best to make this a priority for your new home.

Water and pipes

In case of an emergency such as a broken pipe or flooding, it’s best to know exactly where you can shut off the water to your house. You should also have the pipes of the house inspected to make sure they’re fully equipped to work properly without any leaks or breaks.

Home protection system

A home protection system may not be needed by everyone, but it’s a great investment for those who would like a little more peace of mind. Since home burglaries are unfortunately quite common, finding good home security will help to keep the chances of someone breaking in lower.

It’s also crucial to double check the locks on all doors in your house, including the garage.

Have an emergency plan

Have a discussion with your family on exactly what you will all do incase of an emergency. This can include plans for a fire, flood, etc.

If everyone has an idea of what they need to do and where they need to be in case any of these events take place, your family will feel slightly more at ease and in control.

Miscellaneous emergency items

  • Several stocked first-aid kits around the house
  • Keep all the emergency phone numbers somewhere safe and visible in the house
  • Use this comprehensive guide from the American Red Cross to create an effective emergency kit

Once you’ve taken the proper safety measures, you’re ready to make your new house a home!

TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® is the first and largest franchised moving company in the United States. Let us help move you forward! For more helpful tips and information on moving services subscribe to our blog and like us on Facebook.

Making sure your new home is toxin free

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You’ve found the perfect home, packed up all your belongings, and you’re hitting the road! While it’s important to keep track of all your belongings to ensure they make it to your new place in one piece, it’s worthwhile to keep a few other concerns in mind. The house might be new to you, but there could be decades worth of bad decisions you could potentially have to deal with and should be on the lookout for.

Chipping paint

Peeling, cracking, and chipping paint may be more than just an eyesore. If your new home was built prior to 1978, the paint may contain lead. Toxic paint is still present in millions of homes across the United States, but has often been covered with layers of newer paint over the years. The paint is rarely an issue when it’s in good condition, but ingesting old paint chips or dust can eventually cause lead poisoning.

Lead accumulates in the body and is stored in the teeth and bones. Although anyone is susceptible to lead poisoning, children face an especially high risk.

Signs of lead poisoning include:

  • Anemia
  • Hypertension
  • Renal impairment
  • Damage to the reproductive organs
  • Impaired IQ and cognitive function in children, believed to be irreversible

It is impossible to determine if your paint contains lead just by looking at it, so it may be best to have your home inspected by a professional before doing any renovation work. There are two types of tests that can detect lead-containing paint – an inspection and a risk assessment. Completing the inspection can alert you to sources of potential lead exposure to assure the paint maintains good condition.

Detectors galore

Carbon monoxide (CO) is an odorless, tasteless, invisible gas released whenever fuel is burned. No one is immune to carbon monoxide poisoning and more than 400 Americans die each year from unintentional poisoning.

Common symptoms of CO poisoning include:

  • Headache
  • Dizziness
  • Weakness
  • Upset stomach
  • Vomiting
  • Chest pain
  • Confusion

Appliances should be serviced every year by a qualified professional to prevent carbon monoxide poisoning. As an additional safeguard, install a battery-operated CO detector in your home and check the battery each spring and fall when you change the time on your clocks. The detector should be placed outside of the bedroom so it can wake you up if CO levels exceed safe limits, and needs to be replaced every five years.

Airborne issues

Americans spend 93 percent of their time indoors, so maintaining good indoor air quality is important. If your home was built between 1930 and 1980, there may have been asbestos used during its construction. Asbestos is a naturally-occurring, microscopic mineral able to resist heat and most chemical reactions. Due to those properties, it was used in a variety of items such as insulation, flooring, ceiling tiles, furnaces, broilers, and wallpaper. Asbestos is the only known cause of mesothelioma cancer and has been outlawed in more than 60 countries.

Asbestos causes problems when materials and products containing it are damaged, allowing fibers to become airborne and possibly inhaled. If inhaled or ingested, the asbestos fibers may become embedded in the lining of the organs, including the lungs, heart or abdomen. In many cases, it can take 20 to 50 years for symptoms of an asbestos-related disease to manifest. Although mesothelioma is rare, its prognosis is poor.

If your home was built between the 1930s and 1970s, it is in your best interest to have an abatement professional inspect the space. If the asbestos-containing materials are in good condition, they can be monitored and encapsulated to prevent further problems from occurring. If the products are in poor condition, they may have to be completely removed. Removal is not cheap, but it pays dividends later on.

Damp disasters

Whether it’s on bread or in your bathroom, mold can enter your home through open doorways, windows, vents, heating and air conditioning systems. It can also be brought indoors on clothing, shoes, bags, and pets. Typically, mold will grow in places with heavy moisture due to leaks in roofs, windows, or pipes, and paper, cardboard, ceiling tiles, and wood products are all good conduits for growth. In other cases, mold can grow in dust, paints, wallpaper, insulation, drywall, carpeting, fabric, and upholstery.

If you find mold in your home it is important to not only address the growth, but fix the source of the moisture. Mold can be controlled through decreasing humidity levels, and promptly fixing leaky roofs, windows, and pipes. Shower, laundry, and cooking areas should also have proper ventilation to discourage mold growth. Keep moisture in check to preserve your new home.

A safe start

A new home is a new adventure and arming yourself with facts can only help make the transition go more smoothly. Hire professionals to inspect your home prior to moving in and make sure you’re well aware of any secrets that could be hiding in your dream home. Address the issues and then set yourself up for a happy and healthy house!

Home safety checklist for new home owners

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This is a guest blog post by Reviews.com

Becoming a homeowner is an incredible and rewarding experience. However, as quickly as the excitement rushes over you, the reality of the responsibilities that accompany homeownership become apparent. To ease this process and avoid finding a costly hazard down the line, it’s important to take a moment to get acquainted with your home, run over a few safety precautions, and make an emergency plan. This checklist will help get you started!

Electrical system 

While you’re still getting to know your home, this is a crucial part to pay attention to. If anything looks odd, it’s best to check it out ASAP to avoid what could become a potentially dangerous fire hazard. Get to know where important features like your meter and fuse box are, and watch them for anything that looks unusual.

Make sure you know how to shut them off in an emergency, although it’s highly recommended you reach out to a professional when dealing with your electrical system. If you don’t know where to start or what to look for, this article can help you identify important features to be watching for and can help you assess fire hazards and risks.

Pipes and water

Know where the shut off is! You almost never think of this until it is an emergency but when your toilet is suddenly flooding or a pipe under your sink bursts late at night, you’ll be grateful you took the extra time to identify where your water shut off is. While you’re giving your new home a good look over, also check for things like rust, corrosion, and visible leakage. It’s good to identify these potential problems and deal with them as soon as possible.

Detectors

This one is simple – make sure you have them, test them, and monitor them! Both smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors are crucial for a safe home. Make sure they are evenly dispersed throughout the entire home and always in working order. While on that note, it also doesn’t hurt to keep a fire extinguisher handy.

Protocol for emergencies

Make a plan! If an emergency occurs, it helps to have important paperwork and other valuables in a fire safe/waterproof locked box. They’ll be safe if the house is on fire or if there is flooding, and will be all kept together and easy to grab in the case of an emergency evacuation. Make a plan with your family of what an emergency evacuation would look like. This might mean installing escape ladders to any window not on ground level and establishing a meeting place. Additionally, if it’s applicable for where you live, it’s important to identify a severe weather shelter.

Make a kit! The basics are a first aid kit, radio, and food and water for each person for three days. The Red Cross has a comprehensive list of what to get together for your emergency kit as well the option to purchase emergency supplies and kits directly from their site.

Protect your home against break-ins and burglary

Two million home burglaries are reported each year in the United States. To help protect your family and your new home, there are simple measures to take. Buy and install an alarm system or a home security system. Install new locks and bolts, especially if your home has had many previous owners or people that might have had access to the home. Use caution leaving spare keys outside and rather leave them with a family member or a trusted neighbor. Lock things like sheds, gates, and garages and don’t leave valuables in cars. Lastly, do not publicize vacations or other times your home will be empty; have a neighbor or friend watch the house, and collect newspaper or mail create the illusion that someone is home. The best way to protect your home is to be proactive.

Miscellaneous hazards

  • If applicable, watch for tripping hazards (loose flooring, poorly lit staircases, etc.) Consider a medical alert system if applicable for those in your home.
  • Know how to turn it off. We touched briefly on knowing where the water shut off is but you should know how to turn off all your major utilities in the case of an emergency https://blog.allstate.com/20-days-to-ready-utility-shutoffs/

Be thorough, be proactive and be cautious. Being a new homeowner is an incredible and exciting thing, don’t let anything put that in jeopardy.

 

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