When the weather starts to turn warmer, our minds often turn to spring cleaning. At this time of year, it’s just as important to perform a bit of spring cleaning safety checks on your home security as it is to spruce up your home and yard. Keep reading for four tips that will help you get your home security ready for the warmer months.
Replace batteries in your smoke detectors. At least once a year, you should check the batteries in your smoke detectors. According to the National Fire Protection Association, approximately two-thirds of home fire deaths happen in homes where the smoke detectors were not working. A smoke detector that works and is well maintained may help save lives.
Most smoke detectors are powered by a 9-volt battery or a non-replaceable lithium battery. During your spring cleaning, test the alarms and replace any batteries that aren’t working. If your smoke detectors are hardwired into the electrical system, there’s often a backup battery in place. It’s important to replace that battery at least once a year as well.
If you don’t currently have at least one smoke detector on each floor and near bedrooms in the house, install some as soon as possible. Smoke detectors can be purchased at most home improvement stores and typically cost between $20 and $40.
Check on the carbon monoxide detectors. While you’re checking batteries, don’t forget about your carbon monoxide detectors. Carbon monoxide gas is extremely poisonous. The Consumer Product Safety Commission reports about 170 deaths in the United States each year as a result of carbon monoxide poisoning.
Each floor of the house should have a carbon monoxide detector. If you already have carbon monoxide detectors in place, be sure to check the batteries, which should be changed at least once a year as well. Carbon monoxide detectors often have an expiration date as well, so check to make sure your alarms haven’t expired. If they have expired, replace them immediately.
Check the bulbs on your motion detector lights. Motion detecting lights are often placed in the backyard or on paths leading to the home. These can help deter burglars, as thieves don’t particularly care to be in the spotlight. However, if the bulbs are burnt out or the wiring has problems caused by winter weather, they aren’t going to be effective. Check up on these details and make sure everything is in proper working order.
Reinforce Doors Reinforce any doors that lead to entry to your home with deadbolts. A deadbolt is harder to pick, making it more difficult for a thief to get into your home. If you’ve lost any keys, had repairmen in the house that have a copy of your keys, or you’ve recently bought a home, it’s a good idea to change the locks and deadbolts to prevent intruders or unwanted entry. If current deadlocks are broken, be sure to replace them with newer, safer deadbolts.
Don’t neglect home security features while you’re doing your annual spring cleaning. A few simple checks can help keep your home and family safer this summer.
Written by Hillary Johnston
A proud mother of four, Hillary is passionate about safety education. She holds a degree in Public Health and Disaster Management. Learn more