You finally have your own home. You can paint walls, hang pictures, and begin to add your personal touches. But if this is your first home, there are a few things you should do to protect your home and yourself now and in the future.
Safety & Security Items
Change all of your locks and/or combination codes. There might be spare keys floating around and previous owners may have trusted others with the codes. It’s a relatively inexpensive project that can protect you and your family. And once you have a new key, be sure to hide a spare in a location that only you know.
Test all carbon monoxide and smoke detectors. If there are none, make sure to install some.
Buy fire extinguishers. Put one in the kitchen and on each floor of the house.
Check the temperature on your water heater. Ideal temperature is 120 degrees. Anything higher than this has the potential to scald.
Locate the main water shut-off valve. Busted pipes are a common occurrence and water damage is expensive to fix.
Locate gas shut-off valve. If there’s a gas leak, it’s important to know where the valve is located but that doesn’t mean you should shut if off yourself. If you’re working near a gas valve and clearly know the source of the gas leak and that gas hasn’t been leaking for long, shut off the valve and get out. But if you’re uncertain of the source or how long the gas has been leaking, clear yourself and your family out and call the gas company or fire department from a neighbor’s house.
Find the circuit box and label all circuit breakers. This will help when you need to shut off a circuit for repair, when you need to reset the circuit breaker after it has tripped or in case of an emergency.
Maintenance & Repairs
Clean out the dryer hose and vent yearly. Clogged ones are dangerous and can cause house fires.
Review your inspection report for recommended repairs. If there are certain repairs that you did not get to make before moving in, make a list of these and come up with a plan to address them. This will prevent them from becoming bigger and more expensive repairs.
Change your HVAC filters every few months. Dust and pet hair can clog the filters. Changing your filters regularly help keep your HVAC system running smoothly and maintain optimal air quality.
Clean your gutters at least twice a year. Dead leaves, birds’ nests, and other debris can build up and cause leaking issues.
Drain your water heater once per year. This will clear out the hard water and sediment that may have built up over its use.
PRO TIP: Add scheduled maintenance items into your calendar to remind yourself of important weekly, monthly and yearly items.