Safety and security for you, your family, house and property will always be a top priority. It is important to remember this when preparing for a home inspection.
There are a lot of different ways to determine if a home is safe. Some may be obvious and others may fly under the radar. But the last thing you want to do is live in a home that doesn't protect you, so checking things over with a focus on safety is important.
Here are some things to look for from a safety aspect when inspecting your house or a piece of property you are considering buying:
Fix the danger zones
There are any number of things inside a home that can cause issues during an inspection, from loose electrical wires to unstable floor boards. For longtime homeowners, these things can begin to feel normal, but it is important to get them fixed up.
For example, many safety issues are located in bathrooms. About 235,000 people ages 15 and over go to the emergency room every year because of bathroom mishaps, according to a study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Of those people, 14 percent are hospitalized.
More than a quarter of the bathroom injuries were a result of falling, with over 64,000 accidents of that nature per year. Clean up any slick surfaces that could lead to slips when wet or any potential tripping dangers that are located near baths and showers. Also be careful of any sharp edges, particularly on sinks or mirrors, that could also lead to danger if somebody were to fall.
Make sure everything is in working order
Home devices meant to keep you safe do very little if they are not working properly; verify these items work prior to an inspection. Every state has its own specific rules on smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. No matter where you live, check to see that those pieces of equipment inside your home are in line with the requirements. It may just take the changing of batteries to ensure you and your loved ones are protected.
Also be sure to check other safety items, such as oven exhaust systems, fire extinguishers and outdoor hoses to make sure they are all working properly.
Personal security is a top priority to many people. Americans spent $20.64 billion on home security systems in 2011 and that number is only going to continue to rise, according to statistics cited in U.S. News and World Report.
With that in mind, thorough alarm system inspections are necessary when looking over a home. Examine how the alarm works and what areas of the property it covers. Additionally, find out what fail safes are in place in case the product does not work, as a defense system is only as strong as its backup plan.
Access points such as doors, windows and garages should also be reviewed. Find out what parts of the house are vulnerable and determine if enhancements in safety are needed.