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Safety Checklist

Wed, 09 Nov by Pauline Relkey

With winter soon approaching (at least not today with temps of 19 degrees), we might have a little more time to think about safety features in our homes.

Smoke detectors

Whether it is law or not, there should be smoke detectors in every building. Does every floor have a smoke detector? Are there additional ones in sleeping areas? Test the detectors regularly. Change batteries twice a year.

Carbon monoxide detectors

Do you have at least one carbon monoxide detector in your home? Test the detectors regularly.  Change batteries twice a year.

Home security

Do you have solid locks on doors and windows?   Outdoor light sensors?  Timed indoor lights?  Installed home alarm system?

Fire extinguishers

Its always a good idea to have 1 or 2 fire extinguishers in the home.  Have one in the kitchen (especially when I try to cook). Have another in the garage. Does everyone in the household know how to use them? Are they functional? Are they expired?

Safety education

Teach your family about the importance of home security and fire safety. Ensure they know how to use preventative safety equipment. Do they know how to call 911 in case of an emergency? Design and review an escape plan for all potential situations. If you live in a 2 storey home, do you have a collapsible ladder nearby?


Get your Home Ready for Winter

Tue, 13 Oct by Pauline Relkey

Pay a little attention to your home and garden while the days are still enjoyable to ensure that your family is ready for winter weather.

Clean up, cover up and winterize are the keys to inside and outside weatherproofing.

Here are a few suggestions for your to-do list:

Love the leaves
Lose the mentality that fallen leaves are nothing but a nuisance involving hours of raking and bagging. Have a garden? Spread the leaves over the soil so the worms can work their fertilizer magic. Mound them under shrubs and trees for additional winter root insulation.

Protect a tree
Wrap newly planted shrubs and trees with burlap to protect them from the harsh elements and the drying winter sun and wind.

Inspect eaves troughs
Once most of fall’s leaves are down, give gutters and eaves troughs a thorough cleaning to prevent water and ice build-up.

Look forward to spring

Planting spring bulbs in the garden now will ensure a riot of floral colour pops out of the ground come the spring. Bulbs can be planted right up until the ground freezes.

Hire a chimney sweep
Fireplaces are cozy and cost efficient. Wood burning fireplaces, require annual maintenance. Hire a professional to clean and inspect fireplaces, dampers and chimneys.

Furnace and ducts cleaned
Before turning on the furnace call the professionals to clean and inspect it. Furnace filters should be changed every couple of months so keep a stockpile of them handy. Have your home’s heating ducts cleaned to ensure optimal air and heat flow.

Find and Stop those Drafts
Button up the hatches and keep the chill out by inspecting windows and doors for drafts. Replace old and rotting weather-stripping around the frames to prevent heat loss and water leaks.

Enjoy winter!

raking leaves

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