Make Sure Your New Home is Move-In Ready With These Tips
Your moving date is set, but one question lingers in the back of your mind – is your new home safe for your family? Here are some potential problem areas to look at and correct if needed before the move-in day. If not corrected, some can result in serious injury, or even death. It’s worth your time to take a few minutes and make sure your new home is move-in-ready and at Red River Mutual we want to help. Follow this checklist to help you and your loved ones avoid injury and protect your new property.
If you’re moving into a house that was built before 1978, take a second look at the paint job. There might be layers of paint below the top-coat that are lead based and pose a real risk when they chip. You can call (1-800-424-LEAD) to get the paint chips analyzed. If lead paint is found it should be removed immediately.
Mold & Mildew
Check your basement walls for mold and mildew. If there is an mold present it is probably an indication of a humid environment. Check your gutters, downspouts and fill in any areas where the grading in the foundation isn’t like the rest of the house. You should also invest in a dehumidifier to prevent possible respiratory illness.
This is a room where electrical appliances and waters have the potential to be in close contact. In addition to keeping countertop appliances away from water sources, ask you electrician about wall sockets that act as a circuit breaker, cover unused plugs with safety plugs and put latches on bigger appliances like freezers. You can also consider safety latches and entrance covers on garbage disposals and switches to keep small hands safe. Finally, make sure you have a fire extinguisher handy.
Make sure the previous owner wasn’t a do-it-yourself electrician. If anything from your electrical panel doesn’t look uniform with the other wiring or you find any odd or extra wiring coming out from the closet, floor, ceiling or under carpets, call an electrician. Do not attempt to fix it yourself – this is an area that should only be dealt with by a professional.
Keep a minimum of two smoke detectors per household with at least one on each level and another in the kitchen. We suggest setting a reminder to check the batteries every season.
Make sure your stairways are well-lit (additional lighting can be easily added) and keep them free of clutter. If you have children, make sure the railings are less than 8” apart to avoid small heads getting stuck between the bars.
Hot Water Tank
Check your hot water tank for durability and make sure the thermostat is set between 38 and 54 degrees Celsius to avoid accidentally scalding anyone in your home – particularly young children.
First Aid Kit
Make sure the last item you pack and the first item you unpack is a first-aid kit. Moving is full of risks that can result in injury, so keep it on hand and make sure it’s in a handy place for future accidents when you’re done.
For more things to look for and for further childproofing tips check out the full Loss Prevention Tip.
Carbon monoxide (CO) is a colourless and odourless gas. Because you can’t see, taste or smell it, it can affect you or your family before you even know it’s there. Even at low levels of exposure, carbon monoxide can cause serious health problems. You can test your new home for carbon monoxide when you move in and place detectors in the kitchen, the garage, near furnaces, space heaters, wood stoves and fireplaces.
For more things you can do to make sure that you and your loved ones aren’t harmed by carbon monoxide, check out the full Loss Prevention Tip.
Slips & Falls
Slips and falls are one of the most common causes of non-fatal major injuries. All home, business and property owners are responsible for managing the risks of slipping and tripping to prevent injury and liability claims. Effective solutions are often simple, affordable and easy to implement.
Categories of Falls:
- Trip & Fall – caused due to encountering a foreign obstacle or object in the walking path.
- Stump & Fall- caused when a moving foot comes across an impediment on the surface, which could be a tacky point or a defect that impedes the foot.
- Step & Fall – caused when the foot finds an unexpected failure, void or hole in the walking surface.
- Slip & Trip – caused when the contact between the sole of the shoe and the floor fails to lend support to the walker’s center of gravity.
Preventing Falls in Your Home
Look for slip and trip hazards around the home, including floor coverings and their condition, uneven floors, stairways and handrails, condition of walkways, trailing cables and areas that are sometimes slippery due to spillages. Don’t forget to check any outdoor areas, remembering that weather conditions may be a factor. Snow covered, icy steps and walkways pose a serious slipping hazard.
Installing handrails, proper lighting, clearing clutter, securing rugs and mats, leveling any slopes or stairs and cleaning and clearing any indoor spills or outdoor snow and ice that could cause a fall can protect your family and help you avoid a claims situation.
Check out the full Loss Prevention Tip for more safety measure you can take to prevent slips and falls in your home.
Now, Enjoy Your New Home
Moving can be hectic and busy, but it’s important to step back and look at safety to make sure you and your loved ones have a home that you can create stories in for years to come. Doing due diligence on moving day and replacing, repairing and upgrading hazardous items in the home might seem like a big investment, but it could save you an even bigger claim in the future.
To find more Red River Mutual Loss Prevention Tips go to our Loss Prevention Tips Archive.