Moving into your brand new home when it is finished is such an exciting life event, but during all the excitement, many people tend to forget about the safety and security aspects. There are a number of issues when it comes to security of your new house plan – some of which can be dealt with in advance of move-in day.
It can be especially challenging when you are moving in your first home, and the goal is to make the right choices – choices that affect comfort and your wallet, as well as a return on investment for the future.
The Home Improvement Research Institute (HIRI) recorded some of the typical project trends in their this study, where they asked recent first-time home buyers about the projects that they've done as well as projects that they intend to do.
Here are some things to consider:
Doors. Make sure all locks and keys work. Exterior door locks need deadbolts and make sure you add peepholes and privacy chains. Watch our videos on installing a deadbolt and installing a peephole for homeowners to see out.
Is your house number is visible from the street? As stupid as this sounds, you would be surprised at how many new home buyers overlook whether or not their new home can be found by visitors or the mailman. It should be easily found. (e.g. What if an emergency vehicle needs to find it?).
Fire Extinguishers. Make sure you have purchased and placed fire extinguishers strategically around your new home. (One in the kitchen and one on every floor.)
Install window sash locks. Window stops and key blocks can help prevent intruders from entering your new home. Make sure that your windows can't be pried open from the outside.
Replace loose or frayed wires on electrical devices. Follow cord path. Never allow any cords to run under rugs or across any doorways in your new home.
Smoke detectors. It is the law in most states to have working smoke detectors in your home. There should be one on every floor of your home.
Carbon monoxide detectors. Make sure there is a carbon monoxide detector installed near every bedroom of your new home.
Inspect water heaters. Set the temperature of your new water heater to 120 degrees (and no higher) to prevent burns. Test the alarms and replace the alarms every ten years. Keep the fire department’s carbon-monoxide-reporting emergency number handy.
Lights: Entry areas must are well-lit. Make sure that you have installed lots of exterior lights. Or you can even upgrade to motion-sensing light fixtures.
Child-proofing. A home with small children requires plastic safety covers over all electrical outlets.
Never overload the electrical system. Always be aware and check for a faulty electrical systems in your new home by checking to see if the outlets and plugs are warm; if so, have an electrician check them out. Plus, it might be a good idea to rethink extension cords. Be certain to follow manufacturers’ directions about outlet requirements for plugs, and the maximum wattage allowed. NEVER overload any one electrical outlet (e.g. Allow more than one high-wattage appliance plugged into a single outlet.)
Inspect all vents. Vents need to be properly sealed and clear of obstruction to prevent carbon monoxide poisoning.
Fireplace safety. It is best to us dry seasoned wood since it will burn without producing much soot (or creosote) which is dangerous because it could cause a chimney fire.
Put hazardous products in locked cabinets. And be sure to keep the poison-control hotline’s number (800-222-1222) handy and by every phone.
Install motion-sensor floodlights. Make sure to install motion sensors in the backyard. Keep your house looking lived in at all times, especially when you’re away.