So you’ve moved home, you have the keys, you’re in, and the kettle and mugs have been unpacked. Sure, you’ve got boxes here, there and everywhere, but at least you’ve finally moved and are happy!
It’s time to start a new chapter in the house of your dreams. But, you don’t want the dream to turn sour, so we suggest that after making a cup of tea and getting settled in, you should do some standard safety checks.
Why? Because you need to ensure your home is safe and isn’t going to cause you any issues.
So, what should you be checking? Well, we’ve put together a list of seven safety checks you should make when you move into your new home.
- Check the Windows and Doors
First things first, safety and security go hand in hand. Walk around your property and look at the windows and doors, noting whether they have safety catches on them or security locks. If they haven’t, put it on your urgent “to do” list. With your external doors, many new occupiers choose to change the locks as you never know where a spare key has gone in the past.
Top Tip: Write a list and work through it methodically – it’ll save you time in the long run!
- Check the Water and Electrics
Now, this really is something you should do as soon as possible. Even if your property is brand-spanking-new, you need to know it is as safe as houses.
- Look for the stop cock
- Note where the fuse box is
Should you need to take action in an emergency, you should know where important things are located. You should also look at the plug sockets and wiring to make sure all is correct.
Top Tip: If any work needs doing, you may need to get a more competent, professional tradesperson to help you – particularly with the electrics.
- Check the Appliances
Your new home may have appliances already in-situ. A washing machine, for example, or an oven. It saves you time and expense, of course, but you should check them over to ensure they are safe to use.
Top Tip: When you’re looking around a potential new home, you should always ask to see the appliances working if they are included.
- Look Around the Garden
Look at those roses there, and that lovely fence, oh and that old tree in the corner. But wait. Is your new garden actually safe?
- Are your little ones going to be able to toddle through the gate?
- Will they know the dangers of the small pond?
- Is that old tree safe, or should you get someone in to assess it and lop a few rotten branches off if necessary?
- Are there gaps in hedges where your dog could escape?
Top Tip: Do a complete audit of the garden. It’s better to spend an hour checking everything than spending a lot longer having to deal with an emergency.
- Is the House Childproof?
We don’t need to explain why child safety should be paramount. You should walk around the house to ensure everything is in place to help keep your children safe. This includes safety catches on cupboards, padlocks on areas where things like cleaning products are stored, locks on front and back doors and side gates and stairgates.
Top Tip: Little people are curious and will stick their fingers in everything! Most hardware stores carry home safety packs that include plug socket covers and cupboard catches. Keep a spare set so you are always prepared.
- Check the Smoke Alarms
Safety is a priority, and alarms alert you to danger. Make sure there are working batteries in the smoke alarms and in the carbon monoxide alarm. If it is a wired-in smoke alarm, test it. Make sure your family know what they are for, what they sound like and what they should do if they hear them.
Top Tip: Test all your alarms monthly without fail.
- Plan an Emergency Escape Route
You’ve done all the safety checks but, what happens if something goes wrong and you need to get out of your property? You should plan how you and your family will escape from the house in an emergency. You need to think about routes and who is responsible for whom, and where to meet up when you’re outside.
Top Tip: Having a plan can save you time, and in an emergency, time is of the essence. Make sure the whole family knows the plan and practice it if you need to.