Moving into a new home is a happy — and hectic — time. There’s so much to do! Your to-do list is overflowing in the days and weeks after purchasing a home. Here are two tasks that you’ll want to put at the top of your to-do list to help keep you and your family healthy and safe.
Replace the batteries and inspect the smoke alarms. It’s one of the first things you’ll want to do after getting the keys to your new home. The batteries in battery-powered smoke detectors should be changed at least once a year. The units themselves should be replaced every 10 years. You’ll want to test units monthly. If you aren’t sure how old the smoke detectors are in your new home, replace them. These are life-saving devices and you want to make sure they aren’t too old or aren’t working properly.
Make sure you have enough smoke detectors, too. The National Fire Protection Association recommends smoke alarms be installed inside each bedroom, outside each sleeping area and on every level of the home, including the basement. Interconnected smoke alarms are a great way to go —when one smoke alarm goes off, they all go off. Smoke alarms are an important part of a home fire escape plan. Make sure your family has one and that everyone knows what to do and where to go in the event of a fire.
Check or install carbon monoxide (CO) alarms. Carbon monoxide is a silent killer. It’s an invisible, odorless gas. Because you can’t see, taste or smell it, carbon monoxide can kill you before you know it’s there. Make sure your new home has CO detectors on each floor and make sure that they are replaced every five years. (Check each alarm’s manufacture date so you know when it’s time for a replacement.) You don’t need carbon monoxide detectors only during the winter months — carbon monoxide is a year-round threat. You’ll find CO detectors that fit right into a wall outlet and go to work immediately to protect you and your family. Many detectors provide visual and auditory signals if your carbon monoxide levels are too high.
Install a CO alarm outside each sleeping area, inside every bedroom, and on every level of the home, including the basement. Choose an alarm that is tested and listed by a Nationally Accredited Lab such as ETL or UL. And it’s a good idea to always purchase life-saving devices new from a reputable retailer.