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Home Safety is as Easy as 1-2-3

by Elayne Jassey 03/04/2019

When it comes to home safety, three areas need to be on the radar for review at least twice a year. Some folks check them with the summer and winter solstice and others with the change to and from daylight savings time. But you might want to check these more often. Whatever the schedule, these three items need your regular attention.

Smoke Detector

Testing your emergency equipment is a no-brainer, but your smoke detector particularly should be tested often. FEMA, the Federal Emergency Management Agency, says to check them monthly and replace the batteries at least every six months. According to agency reports, sixty percent of home fire deaths happen in properties where the smoke alarm does not work. And thirty-eight percent of home fire deaths occur in properties where there is no smoke detector or smoke alarm at all. But, working smoke alarms reduce by half the risk of death by a house fire.

So, check your alarm every month, and more frequently if cooking smoke activates it since activation can make both the battery and the alarm wear out. Also, test the alarm and check the battery if the alarm chirps or gives false alarms. Always use fresh new batteries. Even if your system connects to your home’s electrical system, the backup batteries need checking since the risk of a house fire when the power is out or upon power restoration is high.

Fire Extinguisher

Along with smoke detectors, every house should have a fire extinguisher. You should keep one in the kitchen and any other area prone to fire, especially if you have a wood-burning fireplace or your barbecue is near to the home. But don’t just install it and forget about it. When fire extinguishers go unused for a long time, they may depressurize. Unless you check them, you won’t know until you need to use it.

Review your owner's manual. It should have a maintenance schedule. If it doesn’t have one, contact the manufacturer for one.

Along with the pressures, when checking it, be sure:

  • Check the pressure. Usually, an extinguisher has a gauge. Make sure the pressure indicator is in the safe zone.
  • Nothing blocks access. If you install in a cabinet, place it near the front. Better yet, mount it inside the door.
  • The pin and tamper seal must be intact. Make no corrosion appears on the tank, and the nozzle and hose are crack free.

You don’t want to learn that your extinguisher is inoperative during a fire emergency. Serviced or replaced your extinguisher every five to ten years.

Electrical Panel

Most people don't think about their electrical panel except during a power outage. Wires, breakers, and switches age and can fail when you need them most. Have a certified electrician test your panel at least every three years, and immediately if you have a breaker that continually needs resetting, have frequent power outages, see sparks or flames from a light switch or power outlet, or rely on your home power to operating medical or other critical equipment.

If you need assistance finding qualified specialists to check your safety equipment, contact your real estate professional today.

About the Author

Author
Elayne Jassey

 

Your Neighborhood Expert!

Hi, I'm Elayne Jassey and in addition to my passion for real estate, I have a passion for my family, people, competitive games and Stamford! I have loved living in Stamford, Connecticut for the last 35 years. During that time I raised two daughters here and became quite involved in our local civic life. I was very active in Board of Education affairs during all the years my daughters spent in the Stamford public schools, and my early experience as a middle school teacher gave me a great appreciation for the strengths of the Stamford schools. I am currently a member of our Downtown Committee and I'm delighted to have participated in processes that have resulted in everything from encouraging the University of Connecticut to move into their new-in-town branch location, to bringing the excitement of the area's largest Thanksgiving Day Parade, complete with soaring balloons and marching bands, to town. 

I suspect the greatest joy in my professional life is that I meet and work with so many different and interesting people. I enjoy my customers and I am pleased that I build close relationships with them that I maintain for years. These relationships have resulted in a high degree of customer loyalty, and most importantly many close and rewarding friendships. In fact, I continue to work with people I listed, rented or sold properties to when I first entered the profession, and now I have begun selling to the next generation in their families! 

When not spending time with my family or savoring time with my granddaughter as she explores the world, I love to play games. Whether participating in a hard-fought game of Scrabble, playing cards or coming up with the answers in word games and puzzles, I am energized by good competition and problem-solving. In fact, I find creating a successful real estate transaction is a composite of all the things I most enjoy. It combines the problem-solving excitement of detective work with the joy of matchmaking. Each new customer presents a unique set of needs and goals, a special personality and a sense of individual style, all within clearly defined financial strictures. Understanding all these factors and fitting the pieces together successfully is the challenge that makes the selling of real estate so special to me. And it allows me to use my considerable energy, enthusiasm, and entrepreneurial spirit to work hard at meeting my own personal goals. 

People often say that I am a very lucky person. I agree. I live in a community I love. I am surrounded by family and friends, and work in a profession that still engages me deeply. And I've noticed that the harder I work, the luckier I am!