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Home Security Checklist

Here are several tips to keep your house as secure as possible:

  • Keep the shrubbery around your house trimmed. If the bushes and hedges are overgrown and tall, it provides the criminals with a perfect hiding place. You could even consider replacing them with thorny bushes or plants that deter people from walking through them. Also trim back trees so no one can climb the limbs into second floor windows/doors.
  • Keep the exterior of your home well-lit. Burglars prefer to work in the dark so they cannot be easily seen. Installing motion light sensors helps to keep these unwanted visitors away and also help you to enter your house quicker at night rather than fumbling for your keys in the dark.
  •  Get to know your neighbors. People are more likely to look out for their friends. Neighborhood watch programs are excellent at deterring crime. If your neighborhood doesn’t have one, consider starting a program in your community.
  • Make it seem like there is someone home at all times by using light and sound. Automatic timers and motion detectors can be great tools for people who are on vacation or are otherwise going to be away from their home for an extended period of time.
  • Rather than hiding an emergency key under your doormat, leave one with a friend or neighbor so it will not be easy for a potential intruder to find.
  • When you are going on vacation, have someone come over to bring in the mail and newspapers so they do not pile up and alert burglars to your absence.
  • Make sure you have locks on all your doors and windows.
  • Invest in a home security system. A home alarm that goes off when someone enters your home uninvited is one of the best ways to scare away intruders.
  • Keep your garage closed whether you are at home or not. This way, it will not be as obvious to burglars whether or not there is a car inside.
  • Document and insure your valuables so that they can be tracked and returned more easily if they are stolen
  • Be diligent about your home security. Do not slack off when it comes to protecting your home and your family. Be consistent and thorough.
  • Use bars on low level or otherwise easily accessible windows

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Home Service Checklist

Maintenance Schedule

 Consider following a schedule for maintaining your home. A schedule will serves as a reminder of the inspections and maintenance you should perform each month and each season.

The old adage “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure” was never more appropriate than when it comes to maintaining your home.

On the following pages, I’ve put together some maintenance pages that you can print out and use as regular checklists around your home. Use this maintenance schedule as a guide for maintaining your home.

A general maintenance schedule lists tasks to perform once a month or as needed. Seasonal maintenance schedules list tasks to perform in the spring, summer, fall and winter.

Many items listed on the schedules should be inspected as recommended but will need only occasional, if any, maintenance. You will soon develop a feel for what tasks should be performed when.

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General Maintenance

 

Perform every month or as needed

 

Safety

__ Inspect fire extinguishers to insure they are fully charged.

__ Check automatic garage door opener’s safety reverse.

__ Test smoke detectors.

__ Test Ground Fault Circuit Interrupters.

 

Heating & Cooling

__ Clean or replace air filters when the system is in use for heating or cooling.

__ Vacuum heat registers, vents and radiators.

__ Listen to your system for unusual noises.

 

Appliances

__ Drain water from the bottom of the water heater.

__ Grind ice cubes to clean garbage disposal. Flush with hot water and baking soda.

__ Clean dishwasher strainer and spray arm.

__ Clean range fan’s grease filter.

__ Clean frost-free refrigerator’s drain and drain pan.

 

Plumbing

__ Pour water down unused drains.

__ Clean debris from sink and tub drains. Inspect tub drain’s rubber seal. Rinse.

__ Clean faucet aerators and shower heads.

 

 

Spring

 

Exterior

__ Inspect roof materials & roof flashings.

__ Clean & inspect gutters & downspouts.

__ Have a chimney sweep clean & inspect chimney after burning season ends.

__ Inspect & clean siding.

__ Inspect vents, chimneys & other protected areas for bird & insect nests.

__ Clean window & door screens. Repair or replace damaged screens.

__ Inspect weather-stripping around doors, windows & garage doors. Repair as necessary.

__ Inspect caulking & re-caulk as necessary.

__ Inspect foundation for cracks, moisture & insects.

__ Clean debris away from home, utility equipment & other structures.

__ Trim trees & shrubs away from home.

__ Inspect wood decks, steps & rails for loose or damaged boards & raised nails.

__ Clean space between boards on wood decks, walks & steps.

Heating & Cooling

__ Have heat pump or air-conditioning system serviced before cooling season begins.

 

Appliances

__ Inspect water heater’s temperature pressure relief valve for signs of leaks or discharge.

__ Replace smoke detector batteries. Vacuum around smoke detector & its sensor.

 

 

Summer

 

Exterior

__ Clean & lubricate garage door hinges, rollers & tracks. Tighten screws.

__ Inspect paint & sealant on exterior & garage doors, particularly along bottom edge.

 

Interior

__ Inspect walls & ceilings for cracks, bows, sags & leans.

__ Clean & seal tile grout.

 

Appliances

__ Tighten garbage disposal’s drain connections & fasteners.

__ Inspect dishwasher for leaks.

__ Clean range fan blades & housing.

__ Clean & test refrigerator door gasket.

__ Vacuum refrigerator coils.

__ Clean clothes washer’s water inlet filters. Inspect hoses for leaks.

__ Vacuum lint from clothes dryer ducts & surrounding areas.

 

Plumbing

__ Inspect sinks & plumbing shutoff valves for leaks.

__ Test toilets for stability & inspect for leaks.

__ Inspect caulking around sinks, showers & bathtubs. Re-caulk as necessary.

 

Electrical

__ “Exercise” circuit breakers.

__ Check for frayed appliance cords.

 

 

Winter

 

Exterior

__ Inspect roof after large winter storms.

__ Inspect gutters and downspouts during a rain storm for leaks.

__ Keep gutters clean of ice and debris.

__ Check for drafts along doors and windows. Caulk and repair weather-stripping if necessary.

 

Appliances

__ Tighten garbage disposal’s drain connections and fasteners.

__ Inspect dishwasher for leaks.

__ Clean range fan blades and housing.

__ Clean and test refrigerator door gasket.

__ Vacuum refrigerator coils.

__ Clean clothes washer’s water inlet filters. Inspect hoses for leaks.

__ Vacuum lint from clothes dryer ducts and surrounding areas.

 

Plumbing

__ Inspect sinks and plumbing shutoff valves for leaks.

__ Test toilets for stability and inspect for leaks.

__ Inspect caulking around sinks, showers & bathtubs. Re-caulk as necessary.

 

Electrical

__ “Exercise” circuit breakers.

__ Check for frayed appliance cords.

 

 

Fall

 

Exterior

__ Inspect roof materials & roof flashings.

__ Clean & inspect gutters & downspouts.

__ Inspect siding.

__ Inspect caulking & re-caulk as necessary.

__ Inspect foundation for cracks, moisture & insects.

__ Clean debris away from home, utility equipment & other structures.

__ Trim trees & shrubs away from home.

__ Inspect wood decks, steps & rails for loose or damaged boards & raised nails.

__ Clean space between boards on wood decks, walks & steps.

__ Drain water from outdoor faucets & pipes. Remove & store outdoor hoses.

 

Heating & Cooling

__ Clean ceiling fan blades.

__ Clean bathroom exhaust fan grills & fan blades.

__ Have heating system serviced before the heating season begins.

 

Appliances

__ Inspect water heater’s temperature pressure relief valve for signs of leaks or discharge.

__ Replace smoke detector batteries. Vacuum around smoke detector & its sensor.

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