By Vicki Aubry REALTOR®, ABR, SRES
Home owners are so busy with life in general that they sometimes forget the basic safety and maintenance items in their home. Are you up to date?
The number one cause of home fires is blocked dryer vents. If you have not had yours cleaned in a while…better safe than sorry! It is amazing how clogged they can get even in a short time if you launder a lot of towels or fluffy things. At my house, the cat fur adheres to everything and gets trapped in my dryer filter, but some gets through and over time gets stuck in the pipe. Time goes by and one just forgets! Also, if you still have the old type plastic dryer vent, it is safer to upgrade to the metal type.
Chimneys generally have a number of flues. This time of year, it is warm and cozy in there for critters. Folks that don’t have the newer direct vent type furnaces have one of their flues venting their furnace. The flue could be blocked, causing deadly carbon monoxide back up into the home. Some homes with gas fired water heaters also have them venting up the chimney so, again, do not neglect this item even if you do not build fires in your fireplace. And if you enjoy an occasional fire in your fireplace, be sure that flue is clear and also clean as creosote buildup is unsafe as well and left unchecked can cause a chimney fire.
Seems simple enough…Don’t forget to have your furnace serviced by a qualified HVAC professional to be sure it is functioning safely and cleaned if necessary.
Carbon monoxide detectors
As of 2008, all homes must have carbon monoxide detectors installed on every habitable level in homes where there are fossil fuels in use. So that means any gas or oil heat, gas cooking, gas dryer, gas or wood fireplace, etc. On the bedroom level you may need additional ones if you have a large home as the requirement is to be within 10 feet of every bedroom door. Check with your local fire department for particulars.
The smoke detector code has been revised numerous times, but the latest code calls for two separate types depending on location. Photoelectric only detectors must be installed if within 20 feet of a kitchen or bath with a shower and in other locations where there is no kitchen or bath with a shower they should be what is know as a dual detector which includes both the photoelectric component as well as an ionization component. They should be hardwired unless the home was built prior to 1975. Smoke detectors must not be older than 10 years (even if hardwired), so do check to be sure and also use the test buttons to determine if they are still operational. The latest hardwired detectors also have a battery in case of power failures so be sure to change the batteries at least once a year. Homes built after January 2008 have the most stringent codes so if considering a sale be sure to check with your local fire department on the specific requirements for your home. The seller is responsible for delivering a smoke/carbon monoxide permit at closing.
There is plenty of marketing time left, so if you are up to date and considering a move let me help you out! Buyers are out there in record numbers and the mortgage rates are terrific!
REALTOR®, ABR, SRES