Whether you’re on your first home or your fifth – it’s always exciting making a house a home! You’re probably busy painting, ordering new furniture and organizing your possessions, as you should be! However, there are a few REALLY important tasks that often get overlooked that all homeowners should address shortly after receiving the keys:
1. Replace Locks
This is huge! Changing your locks should be high priority on your safety and security radar. While you might receive the keys to your new home at closing, you have no way of knowing how many copies of the keys the previous owners might have made, or if there are any copies still floating around.
Schedule the Lock Change in Advance
Scheduling a lock changing appointment ahead of time can save you time and money. By calling beforehand, the locksmith can prepare both the new locks and cut new keys in the shop before you need them switched out. Often times, preparing the locks and keys on site is more expensive.
Have the Right Information Available
- Number of locks to change. Be sure to include back and side doors, sliding doors and the garage.
- Type of lock. What brand of locks are currently installed? Is there a deadbolt? Is the lock within the knob?
- Security. Is the current level of security sufficient for your needs? You can always add additional deadbolts or install a smart home security system that pairs with your locks.
2. Test and Replace CO2 and Smoke Detectors
First things first, get familiar with the location of smoke detectors and CO2 alarms in your new home. The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) states that smoke alarms should be installed on each level of your home, including the basement, and installed inside of every bedroom and outside of each sleeping area. Does your new home have an adequate number of smoke alarms?
Testing Smoke Detectors
With most detectors, you simply need to press and hold the test button to ensure it is working properly. Hold the test button until you hear a loud, ear-piercing siren coming from the detector while the button is being pressed. If the sound is weak or there is no sound at all, you’ll need to replace your batteries. In some cases, you may need to replace the smoke detector entirely.
Smoke detectors may be one of the easiest and effective ways to protect our family and your home from a fire, as long as they are functioning.
Testing CO2 Detectors
To test a carbon monoxide detector, hold down the “test” button until you hear two beeps sound off. Once you hear these beeps, release your finger off the test button. Recreate this event, but this time hold down the test button until you hear four beeps.
3.Check the Plumbing
Inspect every toilet, under-sink plumbing, faucets and visible pipes to ensure there are no leaks. If you do find any leaks, be sure to have them repaired right away. A slow leak could very quickly turn into a large leak depending on the cause. Wasted water is wasted money – and water damage can be very costly as well! If water damage is left untreated, it could lead to mold growth and become a hazard to you and your family.
Unless you understand plumbing and know how to replace piping, the best idea is to contact a professional plumber. You can apply an anti-leak puddy as a temporary solution to prevent water damage until the plumber arrives. If the leak is severe, shut off the main water valve immediately.
It can be hard to remember everything you should do and look over when moving into a new home. Every homeowner experiences unexpected surprises from time to time – good and bad. No matter how hard we may try, sometimes things just happen. That’s why it’s important to obtain the right homeowners insurance for your needs.