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Now that it is a new month, year, and decade, it’s always a good idea to evaluate different aspects of your life to make sure things are up to date and squared away. Today we will discuss how you can better monitor the safety of your home and your car in Part 1 of Starting 2020 on the right foot.
Safety inside your home is always extremely important. But sometimes with how busy life can be, we forget the check up on vital things that make our home environment a safe one for us and our family.The first thing you will want to check is for fire safety. You should have smoke and carbon monoxide detectors generously throughout your house, and replace their batteries every year. Test them monthly and make sure your family is aware of what to do in the case of a fire, complete with an escape plan and meeting location. Additionally, have a strategically placed fire extinguisher, preferably having one on every floor and near the kitchen if possible.
Then you will want to double check things in your house that can cause a fire. Electrical wiring created heat, can be a major fire hazard if incorrectly present. Be careful of overloaded outlets, excessive use of extension cords, and for frayed wires. Be very mindful of where power cords are running, if they are under forwards or rugs, they could be dangerous. If you are unsure of how safe some of your electronics or outlets are, have it checked out by an electrician. The cost of an electrician is way cheaper than the cost of having your home catch on fire. Additionally, examine the heating in your house. If you have a wood burning stove, it’s very important to have your chimney inspected every year and the stove itself twice a month. If you have a water heater, make sure that is inspected annually. Really, any vents should be examined and insured that they are not obstructed.
Finally, home security is more and more important. Fortunately, it is also much easier now to have home security systems in your house. As a minimum, every door leading outside should have a deadbolt lock. However, you should consider going further with your security. Video surveillance is more and more available. Many people have installed a ring(ring.com) doorbell or something similar. This doorbell uses motion detection and records any activity going on near wherever it is installed. This information can be immediately sent to your phone. It also acts as a doorbell and will ‘ring’ you even if you are out of the house and can speak with whoever is at your door. Finally, whether or not you actually have a security system, it is a good defense against burglars to advertise that you have home security installed.
Car safety is perhaps equally important. Although we don’t spend as much in our cars as our home, the risk of serious injury greatly increases. Here are vital things to check your car, so that you and your family are as safe as possible when you get inside your vehicle.
The first thing you will want to do is check the tires. Tires will get damaged as you drive along the road. With Long Island’s winters and unforgiving potholes, this can be especially true. Tires should have a clear pattern of “treads” which provide traction on the road. Over time, those treads can wear down and go “bald”, meaning the tires won’t grip the roads as well. This can be especially concerning to have during winter weather. You will also want to check the tire pressure.
Following that, examine your car’s lights. Turn the headlights on and check to see if they are cloudy or dim. Turn your blinkers on and see if they are blinking fast (indicating the light will soon go). Then have someone check the back of your car while you carefully turn on your brake lights.
From their you want to check your battery seasonally. The first sign of a wearing battery is when the car struggles to start. Another sign could be the windows lagging when trying to adjust them. If you look under the hood, try to notice if there is any corrosion on the battery. Making sure your battery is healthy will prevent the possibility of being stranded on the road.
Last but certainly not least, you’ll want to make sure to get your car inspected and have routine oil changes. A mechanic will be able to notice even further potential hazards and signs of wear and tear in your car. A more in-depth checklist can be found here.
In Part 2, we will discuss keeping up to date with your automobile insurance, your finances, and your physical health.
Steven Palermo is the managing partner for Palermo Law, Long Island’s Personal Injury Law Firm. He has been helping people receive compensation for their injuries for over 21 years. He focuses on cases involving car accidents, truck accidents, construction accidents and slip and fall injuries.
His book The Ultimate Guide to Handling New York Car Accident Claims details the ins and outs of a car accident claim in a simple, easy-to-read manner.