Did you know there are easy steps you can take to help eliminate hazards within your home? It can be as simple as checking, replacing, or cleaning an area in your home to prevent an accident or illness. SMO Energy is helping homeowners like you identify a few areas in the home to check and be aware of, to help make your home safer and healthier.
Common Home Issues to Check this Summer for a Safer and Healthier Home:
Check Detectors. Test your home’s smoke and carbon monoxide detectors to make sure they are working properly. Having a working smoke alarm is a simple and effective way to reduce the risk of death in the event of fire. You should have at least one smoke detector on every level of your home.
Replace your pillows. Did you know that pillow should be replaced every one to two years? Over time, your pillow absorbs body oil, dead skin cells, and hair. To prolong a pillow’s life, they should be washed every six months. Note that not all pillows can be washed so check the label on your pillow first. You can perform a simple test to know if it is time to replace your pillow by folding the pillow in half and seeing if it stays in that position. If your pillow stays folded, it is time for a replacement.
Inspect your air conditioner and surrounding area. Clean or replace the filters before firing up your AC this summer. If you have central air conditioning, you may want to consider seeking professional help. SMO Energy has highly qualified, NATE certified technicians that can perform an annual tune up on your air conditioner or heat pump to keep your equipment working at peak efficiency.
Clean and check ceiling fans. Help remove allergens by cleaning fan blades with a damp cloth. A ceiling fan duster might be helpful for those hard-to-reach fan blades. For energy efficiency, make sure that your fan blades are spinning counter clockwise to blow the air straight down.
Clean your outdoor cooker. Before firing up the grill this summer, take the time to give it a nice cleaning to prevent any problems.
For gas grills, turn the heat all the way up to high, and let the grill cook with the lid closed for about half an hour. Cut off the heat, and allow the grill to cool. After cooling, brush the grill grates with a grill brush and wipe down the exterior with a damp sponge and gentle cleaner.
For charcoal grills, completely empty the grill of all ash and wipe out any residue left behind. Then clean the inside and outside with hot water, a scrubby sponge, and some liquid dish soap. Let the grill dry completely before using.
Inspect your deck. Give you deck a thorough inspection, checking for any signs of rotting, and hammer any nails that are poking out of the wood. Determine if your deck is need of sealing by sprinkling water on the deck’s boards. If the water beads up, you’re in good shape for the rest of the season, but if it soaks right in, it’s time to reseal the deck.
Be a leak detective. Check lots of areas for leaks around the home. Check for leaks in the attic, around doors and windows, water heater, dishwasher drainage hoses, traps and drains under the sinks, tubs, and showers. – All can lead to bigger issues like interior damage, rot, and mold. For serious leaks, mildew, or mold findings, seek professional assistance.
Update your first-aid kits and emergency supplies. It’s better to be prepared in the event of a minor snafu or natural disaster. Make sure your first-aid kit is well stocked and you have at least one located in your home and in your car. Stock up on emergency supplies for your pets and family.
Perform attic, basement and crawl space inspections. Inspect your attic for any signs of pest or insects, mold or mildew, and turn off the lights to check for any signs of peaking daylight. Make sure that any attic vents are not blocked and insulation is properly placed. If you have ductwork connections in the ceiling, check for any signs of rust or other issues. You also want to check your basement and crawl spaces too. If moisture or wetness is present in your crawlspace, consider adding barrier protectors to help keep that area dry and prevent mold, mildew and other issues.
Sump Pumps. If you have sump pumps, test them to make sure they are working and draining properly before summer storms hit. This is a great way to prevent basement flooding and household mold.
Check where you store hazardous cleaners and materials. Take time to go room by room and think about any potential poisons, chemicals, medications, fuels, or paints that are currently stored there. Confirm that any of the items listed above are being properly stored to prevent small children or animals from reaching them. Make sure these things are stored away from areas that they could contaminate food, and cause illness or death.
Remove hazards from stairs and entry ways. Make sure you do not have any cords or wires at the top of steps or running across doorways that could cause dangerous falls. If you have small children in the home, make sure gates are properly installed at the top or bottom of stairs.
SMO Energy and The Wills Group are Creating Safe and Healthy Homes
SMO Energy and parent company The Wills Group, are dedicated to ensuring safe and healthy homes in the areas that we service. The Wills Group, through SMO Energy, assists qualified, low-income homeowners across Prince George’s County, Arundel County and Southern Maryland (including seniors, veterans, single parents and those with disabilities) by providing energy assistance, including free equipment repair and replacement. We also invest in local community organizations to provide critical home repairs that preserve homeownership. Our employees volunteer with local housing groups to improve or build homes, while SMO Energy provides discounts to these groups and other nonprofit organizations within SMO’s footprint. Our shared goal is to ensure that everyone has a safe and healthy home. To see our most recent efforts, click the button below.