- JR Hevron - MortgageLoan.com
Wednesday, Apr 27, 2011
Now that you own your own home, you can’t depend on your landlord to take care of these common home hazards anymore.
Owning your own home gives a great sense of freedom. No more worrying about keeping a landlord happy! As a homeowner, though, you now have to worry about some of the home-safety hazards that your landlord previously took care of for you.
Perhaps you were always aware of some of these hazards but didn’t worry about them because you were “just a renter.” Maybe they’ve been flying under your radar (and your landlord’s) and endangering you and your family for years.
Whatever the case, take the time to address these common home dangers and prevent injuries and accidents from happening to your loved ones. As most of these issues can be fixed with a minimal investment of time and money, there’s no reason to delay.
Here are five of the most dangerous hazards in your home and suggestions on how to fix them:
1) Hot water heaters: At times, you may have wished that your landlord would turn up the water temperature. Now that you control the thermostat, don’t give in to the temptation to crank the hot water heater temp all the way. Not only is it a waste of energy but it can also be a serious burn danger. It is especially a danger to young children who are just learning to wash their hands or who can reach over and change the knob on when their bath is running. As a rule of thumb, if you can’t turn the hot water up all the way, the hot water heater is definitely on too high.
2) Carbon monoxide poisoning: Many states require a landlord to install carbon monoxide detectors along with smoke detectors. Now that you own your own home, take up the slack and make sure that you have carbon monoxide alarms installed throughout your home. Carbon monoxide is an odorless, colorless gas that is harmful to both people and pets—and there is no way to detect it without an alarm. If you do detect a buildup in your home, you’ll need to hire a professional to fix the problem—money that is obviously well spent!
3) Clogged dryer exhaust ducts: If you’ve only been doing your laundry in a laundromat or a shared laundry room at your apartment building, you probably haven’t even thought about cleaning your dryer exhaust ducts. You should, though, as lint can build up in these ducts and easily catch fire. You can easily remove the buildup with a do-it-yourself dryer duct cleaning kit that can be found online or at many home and hardware stores.
4) Dirty chimneys: Just as with clogged dryer exhaust ducts, chimneys that get a buildup of tarry creosote and ashes can easily become flammable hazards. All it takes is one errant floating ember to spark a fire and possibly burn down your home. You should clean your chimney at least once a year and though there are do-it-yourself methods discussed online, you should consult with a professional chimneysweep to ensure that your cleaning efforts are enough.
5) Window Coverings: Now that you’ve got your own place, one of the first things that you probably invested in was nice blinds and curtains for your windows. If you’ve got children in your home, you should be extra attentive to the straps and cables that come with most window coverings—especially those that end in a loop. On average, one child a month dies from strangling on a window cable. Install a safety tassel or tie down the end of each cord, or just cut them short. And never, put a child’s crib or bed within reaching distance of a window covering cable.
Once you’ve fixed these household dangers—and this list is just a starting point— your work is not over. Make a point of going room-to-room a few times a year to examine the state of your home and eliminating any new dangers.
Though it would be nice to depend on a landlord to take care of these hazards for you, it’s far nicer to have a home of your own!