September is here, bringing with it cooler weather, the start of football season (both college and pro), and so much more! The kids are back in school, and the holiday season is still months away, making September in Olathe the perfect time to get some chores done around the house before holiday shopping and cooking and decorating takes over. That brings us to our topic this month: home safety preparations.
In the UK, September is Home Safety Month because it’s the start of the home heating season. Of course, it’s generally a little colder there than it is here in Olathe. That said, we think a month related to home safety is a great idea, and it’s one that we might just want to adopt over here in the States. In fact, you can do lots of things around the house this month to make your home safer not only for the winter and the holiday season, but all year round. That’s why we put together this handy list of home safety checks that you can do yourself. Let’s get started!
HVAC System Safety – Fortunately, it’s easy to stay on top of your Olathe heating and cooling system when you have a hassle-free preventive maintenance agreement like the one we offer at Davenport Service Company. When you sign up for preventive maintenance, we’ll inspect your entire HVAC system twice a year to make sure that everything is clean and in good working order. We’ll catch problems with your system before they develop into potential health hazards or costly and annoying breakdowns.
Fire Safety – The changing of the seasons is a perfect time to remember to change the batteries in all the smoke and carbon monoxide detectors throughout your house. You’ll also want to replace the detectors themselves every 10 years, even if they appear to work when tested. If you don’t already have a fire extinguisher on every floor of your home (and one in the kitchen), you should get some. If you already have enough extinguishers, you should check them to be sure that they’re charged and in good working order.
Outlet Safety – Do you know how to hand-check your outlets? Do you know why (and that) you should? Once every month, you should make the rounds and put your hand on each outlet in your house. If you find one that’s warm, you’ll want to call your electrician right away. It’s also a good idea to keep tabs on your outlets to ensure that you don’t have a bunch of high-wattage devices plugged into the same one.
Gas Appliance Safety – Not everyone has natural gas appliances, but if you do, it’s important to make sure that they are regularly checked out and serviced by qualified Olathe heating and cooling service professionals. Natural gas can be a great source of energy, but it can also be very dangerous in the event of a leak.
Poison Control – Anything poisonous that you have in your home should be kept behind locked doors. That goes for insect poisons and any hazardous or toxic chemicals. Put the Kansas Poison Control Center hotline in your contact list. The phone number is 1-800-222-1222, and it’s free to use!
Chimney Safety – If you have a wood-burning fireplace, you probably haven’t used it since last winter. That leaves plenty of time for the flue and the chimney itself to become blocked with debris, birds’ nests, and other obstructions. Before you light up the fireplace for the first time this fall, be sure to have a chimney repair and cleaning service inspect and clean your chimney to reduce the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning and chimney fires.
Firearm Safety – The fundamental rules of firearm safety, as laid out by the NRA, state that firearms and ammunition should always be stored separately, and that firearms should be stored unloaded and in locked cabinets. Doing so helps to prevent potentially deadly accidents.
Water Heater Safety – You may not have ever thought about it, but your water heater can actually generate water hot enough to cause burns, especially on younger children. Your water heater has a temperature setting, and it should never be set above 120 degrees. An Olathe heating and cooling pro from Davenport Service Company can show you how to set your water heater’s temperature. It’s also important to store flammable or combustible materials away from the water heater in order to avoid the risk of fire.
Nighttime Safety – Emergencies don’t always happen during the day. That’s why it’s a good idea to make sure that you can get out of the house safely if something should happen while you’re in bed. Keep a telephone, flashlight, and fire extinguisher within easy reach of the bed and ensure that there are clear paths from the bedrooms and bathrooms to the doors. Nightlights can help keep nocturnal journeys safe, and glow-in-the-dark light switches are great for kids’ rooms.
Visible House Number – In the event of an emergency, you want first responders to be able to locate your home quickly and easily. Seconds may count, so it’s helpful to have your house numbers displayed where they are clearly visible from the street. It’s also a good idea to make sure that they can be seen at night, so you may want to consider reflective numbers or a light that shines on the place where the numbers are mounted.
Pet Safety – Of course, it wouldn’t be a home safety list without including ALL members of the home, and that means our pets, too. Emergency and critical care staff at animal hospitals say that the most common injuries pets face come from swallowing or eating something that they shouldn’t. Keeping your house clean and uncluttered is actually a safety concern for your pets and yourself. Keep any hazardous materials or non-pet-friendly foods out of your pets’ reach. Some foods that can be bad for pets might surprise you, so talk with your vet!
We could leave you with lots of other safety tips, but this should give you a good start, and hopefully you’ll feel a bit better informed (and a little safer) once you’ve done some of these. If you need any help or want to schedule your seasonal HVAC tune-up, you can always call the Olathe heating and cooling pros at Davenport Service Company at 913-441-2222!