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Safety Reminder – Tips for a Safe Home

As we plan our summer vacations and activities, it is also a good time to review our home safety plan. UL, the company known for international safety certification, has a great Home Safety Checklist that focus on electrical, water and fire safety.

Here are a few tips from UL’s checklist and from my own experience with my years in Santa Fe real estate:

  • Smoke and carbon monoxide detectors – Be sure they are in working order. Change the batteries every time we switch to Daylight Savings Time.
  • Water heater – Check that water temperature is below 120 degrees Fahrenheit to prevent scalding and save energy.
  • Fire Extinguishers – If you don’t have them, get one for each floor and for major living areas of your home (e.g. kitchen, bedrooms). Check that your existing ones are still viable, and review directions on how to use them.
  • Fire escape plan – Create or review your fire escape plan with all members of the household. Be sure that your second floor has an escape besides the stairs. Have emergency phone numbers in a prominent place on all floors.
  • Extension cords – Check all extension cords to ensure that they are not overloaded. Assure that no cords are placed under rugs or furniture, and that they are not coiled, kinked or frayed.
  • Laundry room – Clean out dryer vent hose bi-monthly with a hose brush. Use an aluminum hose instead of plastic to prevent meltdowns and fires. Also check your washing machine water hose for leakage. Not only can old washer hoses pose a plumbing problem, they can cause electrical fires if the water comes in contact with electrical outlets or appliances.
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