Quick and Easy Home Safety Tips for Daylight Savings Day

When is Daylight Savings Time for 2020? Daylight Savings will begin on Sunday, March 8th at 2 a.m. when clocks will “spring forward”.

Plan now for some important quick and easy household safety updates to keep your family safe. Here are some commonly overlooked safety deficiencies we find in our home inspections.

Item 1
We all know to replace smoke detector batteries. But what about replacing the whole smoke detector?
(see Footnote 1 at the bottom)

Smoke detectors are only reliable for 8-10 years, and their age affects how well they work. You can check the manufacturing date by removing the smoke detector to view the manufactured date sticker on the back.

Your smoke detector is probably older than you think it is.

Our home inspections often find misplaced and improperly installed smoke detectors. Footnote 2 shows guidelines about where to mount your smoke alarms. Footnote 3 explains the differences in types of smoke detectors.

Item 2
Earthquake straps for your tall furniture are cheap and easy to install. Earthquake straps keeps your book cases upright during a rumble.

Screw through the strap’s eyelet and into a wall stud. Then attach the removable adhesive part of the strap to the top of the furniture. Earthquake straps also stop the bookshelf from falling onto a (visiting) toddler who wants to climb things while the adults are distracted.

While a home inspection does not include personal belongings (like furniture), missing earthquake straps are easy to identify and fix.

Item 3
Does your free standing stove range have an anti-tip bracket installed?

The oven door swings down, stops, and acts like a lever to torque the stove range. Imagine a hot roasting pans resting on the open door, or a climbing toddlers causing the stove range to tip forward. These tipping accidents easily cause serious burns and even deaths from crushing the toddler.

Tip 4
What about Carbon Monoxide Detectors? Carbon Monoxide alarms are only good for 5-7 years. To work correctly the Carbon Monoxide detector must be located on a wall lower than 5 feet up from the ground.

Mounting your Carbon Monoxide alarm at the right height is important because poisonous Carbon Monoxide is heavier than air. Carbon Monoxide in the air settles around the same level as our heads while we are sleeping.

Remember to mount Carbon Monoxide detectors at least 12 feet away from any ignition source (stoves, water heaters, HVAC) to reduce false alarms.

SacPro Home Inspections is your local home inspection service. Our home inspector professionals are pleased to inspect your home for important safety devices to keep your home safe.

(1) Many new smoke detectors come with 10-year batteries. That batter life is shortened each time the smoke detector goes off. If the smoke detector is past is manufacturer’s recommended replacement time, then replace the whole smoke detector.

(2) Where to place smoke detectors matters. At least 1 smoke detector must be in every bedroom (between 4-12″ away from the wall). At least 1 smoke detector must be in the hallway outside of bedrooms. At least 1 smoke detector must be on every finished (habitable) level of your home, including finished basements.

(3) There are different types of smoke alarms. Each type works differently, and each has pros and cons.
(a) Photoelectric Smoke Detectors type relies upon smoke passing between an internal light and a reflector. This type of smoke detector is good for slow “smoldering” fires. Photoelectric smoke alarms are great at detecting smoke but not heat or air impurities related to certain fires.
(b) Ionization Smoke Detectors use a sensor to detect changes in air content due to the “ions” which are present in certain types of “fast flame” fires. But Ionizing smoke alarms are much slower in detecting “smoldering” fires. Unfortunately, these types also have false alarms if you leave the bathroom door open while taking a shower, because the humidity reaches the smoke detector and may set it off.

Research has shown the Ionizing smoke alarms may respond 14 to 53 minutes SLOWER than Photoelectric smoke alarms in smoldering fires. An example of a smoldering fire might be an over-heated electrical outlet or an electric appliances.