October arrives on Thursday, which means it's time for homeowners to set aside the hour or two it takes to carry out an annual October home safety check-up. October is widely deemed the appropriate month for attending to this kind of annual exercise—after all, it is Fire Safety Month.
Especially this year, Memphis area residents who spent a greater amount of time indoors than usual may find some extra safety-motivated vigilance is called for. Here's a 10-point checklist of areas most likely to need your attention:
- Rugs. If the ends have curled, add non-slip backing corners or double-sided adhesive tape to prevent tripping.
- Extension cords. Reconfigure any extension cord octopi that could become fire hazards. Replace frayed cords, for sure.
- Electric outlets. Hand-check them: if they feel warm, unplug any devices, wait an hour, and if they are still warmer than room temperature, call the electrician.
- Hallways (and any narrow foot-traffic areas). Remove any tripping hazards that may have sprouted over the summer.
- Stairways. Clear all objects—they belong upstairs or downstairs—not onstairs.
- Kitchen. Now's a good time to shift the most-used items down to lower, easy-to-reach shelves.
- Bathroom. If needed, make the trip to the hardware store for a non-slip rubber mat or tape for the shower or tub.
- Bedrooms. While you're at the store, in case you've found yourself bumbling around in the dark, pick up a night-light or two. Today's inexpensive smart LED models sense when light is needed—and cost less than 30 cents a year to operate.
- Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Detectors. November 1, when daylight savings time ends, is usually publicized as battery check-and-replace time. But since October is also Fire Safety Month, why wait?
- Emergency numbers. If you are still using a landline, update the Emergency List you keep next to the phone—it should have the numbers for the Memphis area police, fire department, and who to call in emergencies. Be sure the same numbers are also entered in your cell phone's Contacts list.
In addition to the above do-it-yourself items, it's also time to make appointments with your Memphis area pros for the annual water heater and furnace services. This home safety exercise is also an economy move: these tune-ups make for energy savings that can be significant. If the fireplace was in use last winter, it's also time to have the chimney and flue inspected and swept.
If you're new to Memphis area and seeking our top service providers, I'm always happy to supply recommendations. For those and any other Memphis area community information, just call!