Autumn is a good time to re-evaluate your home security. While most homeowners associate the balmy summer with burglary and burglary, fall is also an ideal time for burglars and thieves to strike. Since many homes are vacant and homeowners are on vacation during the fall, burglars and thieves can make the most of the opportunity to target your home. This is where the need for fall safety tips comes into play.
When everyone is getting ready for fall, you as a homeowner should also start thinking about home security. It’s time for you to add these fall safety tips to your to-do list along with preparing for Halloween.
Top 4 Fall Safety Tips
The keys to proper maintenance of fireplaces and stoves
When cold winds blow outside your home, nothing can be more comforting than your fireplace. However, maintenance of the fireplace and stove is important so that necessary repairs can be carried out in a timely manner.
If not adequately maintained, fireplaces and stoves can lead to house fires. A leading cause of house fires due to poorly maintained fireplaces is the buildup of creosote. As creosote levels rise, burning embers and high temperatures can ignite the creosote, which can lead to a fire in the chimney that can spread throughout the house in no time.
Not only this, but wood burning fireplaces can also affect the quality of the indoor air. Pr United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)Smoke may smell good, but it is not good for your health. The biggest threat from smoke comes from fine particles, also known as PM 2.5 or fine particles. Fires also consume large amounts of indoor air when burning; therefore, the outdoor air that is drawn in to replace the indoor air consumed by the fire can lead to negative pressure inside the house. Gas and oil stoves can also draw back the indoor air consumed by the fire to release toxic gases, such as carbon monoxide.
Carbon monoxide poisoning from gas fireplaces can lead to:
- Chest pain
- Shortness of breath
- Mental confusion
- Loss of muscular coordination
Therefore, we recommend getting professional maintenance of fireplaces and stoves to avoid fire hazard. Although it is possible for you to clean your fireplace and stove, you may not have the necessary experience or knowledge to find all potential problems during inspection.
Most maintenance services for fireplaces and stoves include:
- Cleaning and testing of all elements
- Cleaning the fireplace glass
- Cleaning the burner and assessing the burner unit
- Adjusting the airflow to improve combustion and reduce the build-up of creosote
- Testing of any automated or remote controlled functions
- Checking for gas leaks
- Inspection of carbon monoxide and smoke detectors
While a chimney sweep log can help reduce this buildup, a good rule of thumb is to have a professional cleaning done after 50 uses or a year. Although furnaces do not require chimney maintenance, they do require annual furnace inspections, especially if they are more than 10 years old.
The importance of a garage cleanup
Most homeowners use the garage only for storage purposes. They rarely use it for cars. Therefore, garages are typically filled with piles of forgotten or unused items that can lead to chaos, clutter and disorganization. But with autumn and winter around the corner, it’s time for you to get rid of clutter to make room for items you need for winter maintenance. You will probably also want to park your vehicles inside the garage.
As already mentioned above, first get rid of the unwanted clutter in your garage. Evaluate what you do and do not need. Now it’s also time for thorough cleaning.
Sweep the floor and get it fixed if it is broken or broken. Get rid of cobwebs and dust. Use a vacuum cleaner or high-pressure cleaner for corners that are difficult to reach.
If your garage door is old, damaged or of poor quality, have it replaced or repaired immediately. The weak garage door can expose your home to burglars, thieves and bad weather.
Thoroughly inspect the springs and tracks in your garage door. Have them replaced or repaired if you see problems. If parts look rusty, apply a new coat of paint to treat them. Also check the perimeter of the garage door. Correct any extra holes with a new weather stripe.
If your garage door has a smart lock or security sensors, make sure they work properly. If not, consider getting a smart lock to monitor your garage door using your smartphone and install security sensors. You can integrate the smart lock with your home security system to increase the security of your garage and your home.
To ensure the robustness of your garage, it is equally important to inspect the foundation and walls. Make sure the foundation and walls are free of cracks or mold. If you notice cracks wider than ¼ inches, repair them.
Modification of smoke and carbon monoxide detectors
Changing smoke and carbon monoxide detectors Before the fall seasons is another way to ensure that your home is running at its best efficiency.
If you have not already done so, the fall season is a good time to check your smoke detectors and replace their batteries to ensure that they function properly. When daylight saving time starts and ends, you should consider replacing the batteries in your carbon dioxide and smoke detectors to ensure that they do not fail.
If the smoke detectors are older than 10 years, you may want to consider replacing them with new ones. Carbon monoxide detectors have a life expectancy of almost 7 years.
When replacing the batteries, consider using a vacuum cleaner to remove dirt, grime and dust from internal components of carbon monoxide and smoke detectors. Dirt, dust and other particles can prevent the sensors from spotting smoke or carbon monoxide. Apart from the fall season, you may want to consider cleaning the detectors at least once more each year.
Also check if the fire extinguishers in your home are in working order and make sure they are located in the right places for emergencies in case of fire.
How to Perform an Autumn Maintenance Safety Check
As we approach the colder months and shorter days, it is important to conduct an autumn safety check. Aside from inspecting your fireplace, stove, smoke and carbon monoxide detectors and garage, there is more you need to do.
With late fall and early winter, you can expect at least a few days of harsh weather. That’s why it’s important to make sure your security cameras are ready for the weather. Regardless of strong winds, heavy rain showers and heavy snowfall, the security cameras should be well equipped to provide you with surveillance around the clock.
Make sure the security cameras are protected and positioned correctly to prevent them from being damaged. Check for loose or damaged cables and repair them as soon as possible.
Outdoor lighting is extremely critical in the fall and winter, especially for surveillance cameras. Autumn and winter come with shorter days, which means lower lighting conditions and better opportunities for burglars and criminals.
If you do not already have outdoor or safety lights, you may want to consider installing them now. Infrared (IR) lighting is suitable for CCTV cameras.
Piles of autumn leaves can hide borders or fences around your property and pave the way for burglars and criminals. Therefore, make sure to clean the areas around your property routinely and check your fences. Low visibility from the street is an ideal situation for a burglar. Tall grass, fences, shrubs and trees provide cover for uninvited guests, making it easy for them to hide.
Autumn is also a good time to check the functionality of your safety sensors. For example, a wireless garage door sensor may lose contact with your home security system and may not trigger an alarm if it is not in operating mode. If you find sensors that are not working properly, correct them.
If you also have vulnerable doors and windows at home that do not have security sensors, you may want to consider installing them. Research shows that 34% of burglars enter through the front door. Therefore, make sure that your front door is equipped with a security sensor.
Burglars and criminals love older technology; it is a real benefit to them. Therefore, if your home security system is powered by older technology, you may want to consider upgrading it before it is too late.
These days, you can easily find advanced smart home security systems which comes with notable features such as:
- Smart alarms and sensors
- Smart smoke and carbon monoxide detectors
- Smart door and windows locks
- Smart thermostats
- Smart lights
- Video verification systems
- And more
Newer technologies support automated home security features that can be remotely controlled. They can also be accessed using smartphones so you can enjoy your fall vacation without worrying about the safety of your home. Therefore, upgrading your existing security system to an advanced system can give you peace of mind even when you are away.
On ProTech Security, we have a strong history with experience, innovation and customer service. ProTech Security Advantage is more than 35 years of service in Northeast Ohio and a strong commitment to providing quality, cost-effective protection for homes, businesses, educational institutions and government facilities. To see what ProTech Security can do for you, contact us today.