It’s time to start thinking about safety! You need to make sure that your smoke alarms are in good working order. If you have any appliances in the home, now is a great time to do preventative maintenance and ensure they will work if there is an electrical outage or storm. In this blog post, we’ll go over 9 easy steps for inspecting your smoke alarm and appliances before the winter season arrives.
1. Check your smoke alarms
- By regularly checking the batteries of your smoke alarms and testing them, you can prevent potential home fires. You should also be aware of the type of alarm system in your house so that someone else will know what to do if they need to call for help after an emergency occurs.
- Test all smoke alarms monthly
- If any alarm is sounding off or not working, replace it immediately
- Recharge the smoke alarms with a fresh battery every six months or so
- Clean the vent at least once per year, and any time you paint your house (if applicable)
- If there is no power, make sure to change batteries in your alarm ASAP. We recommend using AA lithium batteries for extended life!
2. Inspect your appliances for any signs of wear and tear or damage
- If you have an old appliance, it’s time to start thinking about replacing it. If you have machines over ten years old, they may not be up-to-date with current safety standards and could pose a risk if there is an electrical outage or storm.
- Inspection is key to making sure you and your family are safe and prepared.
3. Clean out the lint from your dryer vents to avoid fires
- Dryers are notorious for getting clogged with clothes and fibers, leading to a buildup of heat that starts a fire. Cleaning it before winter also helps make sure you don’t have any issues next year as well!
4. Replace all batteries in smoke alarms, carbon monoxide detectors, and emergency lights
- When you replace your batteries, replace the entire smoke alarm if it’s over ten years old.
- Don’t forget to check your carbon monoxide detector too! Replace its battery as well
- If you have an emergency light or radio that uses AA batteries, be sure to change them regularly and keep extras on hand for any power outages or storms.
5. Check the filters on air purifiers to make sure they are clean
- Filters on air purifiers may need to be replaced every month or two
- Filters on air filters typically need to be changed about once per month.
- The filter should not feel dusty when you touch it, and there should not be any debris visible in the vents of your heating system.
6. Change furnace filters every 3 months during the winter season
- Lint is a huge fire hazard! The lint that accumulates inside your dryer vent will eventually get hot and cause sparks. These little fires can turn into big ones quickly, so it’s important to clean out the lint from time to time. You’ll know that you need to clean out your dryer vent when the lint screen is full.
7. Make sure you have fire extinguishers in the home
- Fire extinguishers are a great tool to have on hand if there is an electrical fire.
- Everyone must know where their extinguisher is and how to use it in case of a fire emergency!
8. Test all windows
- Make sure windows can be opened easily if there is a fire inside the house, but outside as well, so you don’t get trapped by high flames or smoke fumes; also, keep windows closed when cooking with oil or other combustible materials to keep the smoke from exiting outside.
- The last thing you want is for your house to become a furnace. This can happen when windows are closed, and fires are raging inside, while at the same time fire crews cannot get near because of high flames or heavy smoke coming out. To avoid this scenario altogether, make sure that all of your windows can be opened and are not painted shut.
9. Inspect all electric plugs, including those on your appliances
- Look at all plugs and make sure they are not loose. If you moved your home or added a new appliance, move the plugs to accommodate them. Loose connections can be extremely dangerous because there is always a chance of electrocution and fires.
- Do not plug in appliances if you know they are broken; instead, please call an electrician.
You should regularly inspect smoke alarms and appliances to prevent a fire from occurring. The nine tips we’ve provided can help you stay safe around the home by keeping everything running smoothly and out of harm’s way. If you want more information on any of these topics or how they pertain to your specific situation, be sure to contact one of our experts today!