Inexpensive Fixes for a Safer Home
When we talk about home improvement, it’s not always about the looks – it can also be about making your home work better. No matter what you are aiming for, investing back into your space by making your home safer should be a priority before anything else.
There are plenty of simple maintenance tasks and other improvements you can handle to make your home safer – whether you’re handy or not. And you won’t have to break out the power tools (or any tools at all in some instances) or worry about getting in over your head.
You need running water in your home – but not water running in your home, if you know what we mean. Even minor leaks can cause major problems, from higher water bills to damage requiring costly repairs (maybe even the kind you can’t tackle yourself).
Here are some easy ways to make sure your water stays where it should:
Check your appliances. They’re the most common source of water leaks in homes, so it’s worth taking a look at least once a year to check for problems. And the hoses that come with your washer and dishwasher can mean big trouble – they break down over time. Look for kinks and cracks, and replace if needed. Consider using reinforced hoses, too; those with steel braiding or mesh won’t hold up forever, but they’re stronger than rubber or plastic.
Watch the pressure. Water pressure that is set too high can cause pipes, hoses and water lines to leak or burst. Inexpensive gauges are available at home-improvement stores to test your pressure.
Consider installing water sensors such as Flo by Moen. Flo by Moen is a smart water shutoff device that can alert you to a leak or other problem in your home soon after it occurs.
It can even send messages right to your smartphone! It basically works three ways: help you conserve water, save money, and protect your home.
Good News! Flo is collaborating with Safeco Insurance to provide customers of Safeco agents with a special discount.
Just click the widget on the right to enjoy the discount and learn more.
Keep Your Family and Your Guests on Their Feet
Millions of Americans – many of them older adults – are injured in falls each year. Look around your home. Should you make some of these fixes?
Reduce clutter. Everything from small pieces of furniture to area rugs can pose a hazard, so make sure they’re in appropriate places and out of the way if possible.
Add stability to stairs. Make sure stairways have sturdy rails, and maybe even non-slip strips, particularly outdoors.
Let there be light. It’s hard to walk safely when you can’t see obstacles or potential trouble spots. Make sure your home is well-lit, and don’t forget night lights, too.
Give Everyone Some Air
Pollution isn’t just an outside thing – the air in your home can be unhealthy, too. But helping people breathe a little easier isn’t hard when you follow these steps:
Test the air (and your detectors). Make sure you have working carbon-monoxide and smoke detectors and test them regularly. Also, consider testing your home for radon, a naturally occurring radioactive gas that can be dangerous over time.
Check your filters and ducts. Keeping your furnace filter and air ducts clean will keep your air cleaner as well. And consider adding some of nature’s air filters: plants.
Keep your home clean. Dust doesn’t just build up on the furniture – it ends up in the air as well. Regular cleaning means cleaner air (just be sure to use safe products).
Home improvement doesn’t have to mean a kitchen remodel or finishing the basement. Making your home safer, in fact, just might be the best improvement of all.