Keep Your Home Safe From Damage


Owning a home is a vital part of the American dream. It is a symbol of freedom and stability. Many people work long and hard throughout their lives to one day own their own house which explains why many homeowners are so obsessed with keeping their homes in peak condition. However, due to the unbeatable powers of entropy and Murphy's Law (anything that can go wrong, will go wrong) our homes don't always stay spick and span like we like them to be. There are many things that can go awry for a homeowner and we can't cover all of them, so here are some of the basic home maintenance tips for those who want to keep their homes in good condition.

Electrical work

Electrical work may not seem like a big deal aside from discomfort, but, in reality, faulty wiring could cause more discomfort than having to use a separate outlet when vacuuming the floor. Faulty wiring can cause electrical fires - which are never a pleasant experience. So, to lower the chances of a house fire, have your homes wiring checked on a frequent basis, and upgraded when needed.

Over Using an Outlet

We've all done it; using too many outlet splitter or extension cords to plug everything into one outlet. If too many appliances or electronics are plugged into a single outlet, it can cause it to overload and may start a fire. Luckily the solution is pretty inexpensive - plug things in elsewhere. If you find yourself needing to plug multiple things into a certain outlet, be sure to use a surge protector which will help to keep the appliances safe in the case of a surge.

Smoke Detectors

Smoke detectors can be life savers, as well as home savers. Luckily they are very common place and can be found at nearly any retailer. It is recommended to have a smoke detector in each room in your house (for bedrooms, place the alarm just outside the door, this way the alarm will sound even if the door is closed) to decrease the likelihood of a fire spreading too far without being noticed. Remember to also put them in hallways and the garage, you can't be too careful.

It is good to test your smoke detectors at lease every month and replace the battery every year. (This is according to the United States Fire Administration http://www.usfa.fema.gov/prevention/outreach/smoke_alarms.html). However, instead of just pushing the button to be sure that it works, light a match, blow it out and hold it under the detector that you want to test. This way you know that A) it still senses smoke, and B) it still makes a loud noise to alert you. (It is also important to note that the United States Fire Administration suggests you either buy a detector that have ionization and photoelectric sensors, or one of each kind; read more at the USFA website.)

Fire Extinguishers

As the title suggests, every home should have one or more fire extinguishers. There are many different kinds of fire extinguishers that can be bought at a range of different prices, so deciding on which type to buy needs to be a decision well researched. Be sure to have an extinguisher near the kitchen, garage, and one on every floor of your home. The idea here is to make sure that you can easily get to an extinguisher in an emergency.

Plumbing

Pipes are an easy thing to overlook unless they are gushing water into your basement. That, however, is precisely the reason why your pipes need regular attention. Have a professional look at your plumbing on a regular basis to make sure everything is up to par and have him fix anything that needs attention. Be sure to call a professional in the case of any plumbing need, doing repairs yourself can be a huge liability and could cause more problems than it fixes.

Keep Things Dry

Mold is the silent killer of homes. It creeps in when no one notices, causing sometimes irreversible damage. There are several things you can do, however, to prevent this dark killer from striking. Firstly, clean up anything that gets wet, if water is allowed to seep into the wood of the floorboards of the walls, mold could easily grow and prosper. Another tip that many find useful is to do what you can to improve the ventilation of your home. If more air moves through your home, the more likely moisture will evaporate and not form mold. It is also advised to check beneath your sinks and in your basements on a regular basis so if there is any leak or moisture building up, you can catch it early and stop the mold before it comes.

Outside Threats

Though making your home 100% burglar proof is impossible, there are still things you can do to deter a would be burglar from targeting your home.

Lock Your Doors and Windows

seems simple, but it is actually one of the best things you can do to protect your home. Be sure to lock your doors before you leave and before you go to bed, that way it will make it a little bit harder for someone to break in. Also, when you buy locks, make sure that they are sturdy ones, not cheap flimsy substitutes.

Properly Dispose of Packaging for Expensive Items

When you buy a new TV or computer, they usually come in colorfully, and well-marked, boxes; the kind that are designed to draw your attention. In the excitement of buying and setting up your new things, you probably have just simply trashed the packaging. The better, and safer, thing to do is to take the time to destroy the packaging to the point where it is unrecognizable; that way when it is sitting on the curb a burglar won't know that you just installed a 100" Smart TV that he could steal.

Leave Lights and TVs on When You are Away

It is an old trick, but leaving a light on in your home gives it the impression that someone is there are awake, which will mean it is a no go zone for a burglar that wants to stay out of jail. To up the ante, however, you may consider turning on a TV or radio as well to make the deception even more convincing.

These are just a few of the many things that you can do to help preserve your home in the face of disaster. There are more online and in print that can help you to better craft your home's protection plan. And keep it safe and sound.