Spring is the busiest time for people moving home, and despite the dark clouds of Covid uncertainty, many people will still be on the move in the next few months. A house move can be stressful, there is a lot to think about, and home safety may not be a priority.
When you move into a new home, the list of tasks you need to get through can seem endless. However, home safety checks are vitally important, and they should definitely be on your list of tasks. They can save lives, and they’ll only take you a couple of minutes to complete when you first move in.
CHECK YOUR DETECTORS
All homes should have both smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors in place these days, but there is a possibility that some of them are actually worthless due to lack of maintenance. Most fire alarms and carbon monoxide detectors will have a test button that’ll let you know whether or not the battery is good, so give each a press to make sure.
It’s also worth checking their positioning while you have them on your mind. Houses should have at least one on each level, and flats should have theirs centrally positioned.
CHECK YOUR FRONT DOOR
Checking your front could save you money and even help prevent burglars from gaining easy access to your home. Front doors are built differently to those which you find inside the home, so they often fit them to the exterior by mistake. Others may fit them simply to save money.
Exterior doors will also help keep the heat where you want it, inside your home. Modern interior doors are usually hollow, so not only will they offer minimal insulation, but they’ll also prove inadequate as barriers to entry should someone try to force their way into your property. If you suspect that your front door isn’t what it should be, make it a priority to change them.
CHECK YOUR WINDOWS
Windows are another important thing to check when you first move in, especially those on the ground floor. Make sure they open and close properly and that they are securable when shut. Look out for any signs of damage, both inside and out, and check for any defects.
Windows are a common access point for burglars, so make sure all of your latches work correctly and that your windows sit properly in their frames.
LOOK AT YOUR LOCKS
Another high priority job should be changing the locks. There’s no easier way to gain entry to a property than to have the keys and, let’s face it; there’s no way of knowing who has a set when you take over a new property.
Previous owners may have given a spare to any number of people, anyone could have immediate access to your home, so it’s well worth the expense of getting your locks changed as soon as possible.
GET FAMILIAR WITH THE ELECTRICS
As you move in, you should find your fuse box. Most electrical circuit boxes are fairly standard, but if you’re moving into an older property, you may find a somewhat different layout with which you’ll want to get acquainted.
Take a look at all of the wall sockets as well. Make sure none of them is loose and check to see if any remain in the skirting boards. This should have been picked up by your surveyor, but if you didn’t have one conducted you might want to get an electrician in to take a look at your home’s wiring to be on the safe side.
CHECK YOUR PIPEWORK
Another quick check that could save a lot of hassle, later on, is to take a look at any exposed pipework you may find in and around your home. Look out for corrosion, rust stains, and any other signs of leakage. If you spot something you don’t like the look of, call a plumber and have them run an inspection. Preventative action could save you money in the long run. While you are looking over your pipework, be sure to locate your stopcock too. Check to make sure it isn’t seized or jammed as well.
That’s it! A quick shortlist of home checks everyone should do when they are moving to a new home.
It is important to add that if you have a child, then child safety is probably on top of your list. For families with children, it’s essential to make their new environment safe as soon as possible. So here are also some advice for parents.
Apart from all the checks you’ve already done, you should quickly check how far all the windows in your new home open, even ones on the ground floor. You might need catches or window locks. If you’ve moved into a home with a balcony, check that your young child can’t get out on to it. Again, fit a lock if necessary. Check balconies for climb ability, keep them clear of anything which toddlers could climb on, and check any gaps in any railings.
If you’ve moved to a new area or even a new street, the roads, volume, and traffic speed will be unfamiliar. There may be new or busier roads to cross on the way to school, so practice the new school run if you can.
If you’ve moved to a property that now has a driveway, you should be careful when entering and leaving the drive. Walk around the garden, check if children could find their way into neighbouring gardens or onto the street. If the garden has a pond or a water butt, make them safe as soon as you can.
In the period of transition, try to keep potentially harmful things, such as household cleaners, liquitabs and tablets, key fobs out of reach and sight of young children.
A few checks before and just after you move won’t take long but will give you peace of mind and help protect yourself and your family from a serious accident.
Well, I hope this helps. Not only do I provide posts to help promote and support the community of Tooting and its surrounding areas, but I am a local property expert too. As always, please do get in touch with me should you need help or advice with the sale or rental of your property, I am here to help.
Chuk - Your Local Property Expert for Tooting and Surrounding Areas