As the summer season rolls in with its warm weather and free-spirited days of fun and relaxation, the last thing you want to think about is the safety of your home. The season should consist of barbecues, long lazy days, and making a splash, but hazards like wildfires, storms, and other season-specific risks don’t take time off and could put you and your family at risk. By taking proactive measures and implementing safety precautions, you can protect your property and loved ones from potential dangers. Here’s how you can safeguard your home from fire, storms, and other summer hazards that commonly arise.
Creating a Fire-Resistant Home
The summer heat does not play, and it’s a time of year when fires can pose serious risks no matter where you live. Begin by assessing the fire risks around your property. Identify any potential sources of ignition, such as dry vegetation near your home or flammable materials stored improperly. Of course, while there are many dangers that could come from outside, be sure to do a run-through of your home to look for potential fire hazards like candles too close to furniture or any exposed wiring that could catch a flame.
Next, clear the brush and dry vegetation from around your property. Create a defensible space by removing dead leaves, branches, and other flammable debris. Trim tree branches near your house and maintain a safe distance between vegetation and structures.
Consider installing fire-resistant roofing materials to provide an additional layer of protection for your home. Class A-rated roofing materials, such as metal, clay tiles, or asphalt shingles treated with fire-resistant chemicals, can help prevent fire from spreading.
Make sure that your windows and vents have suitable screens or coverings to prevent embers and debris from entering your home during a fire. Install spark arresters on chimneys and stovepipes to prevent sparks from escaping and igniting nearby areas.
And finally, have a fire escape plan. Discuss with your family what to do in the case of an emergency and how to safely leave your home through several exit points.
Preparing for Storms and Heavy Rainfall
Regularly inspect and clean your gutters and downspouts to prevent water buildup and potential damage to your home’s foundation. Clear any debris, leaves, or twigs that may obstruct the water flow.
Additionally, check the seals and weatherstripping around doors and windows to verify that they are intact and functioning properly. Reinforce them if necessary to prevent water leakage during heavy rainfall or storms. Then, make sure that your property has adequate drainage systems in place to redirect rainwater away from your home’s foundation.
Safeguarding Against Power Outages
Your power goes out—now what? It could be for a few hours or days, meaning the food in your fridge spoils and you’re without AC and electricity to power your devices. Think ahead by installing a backup generator to keep essential appliances and systems running during power outages.
You can also prepare an emergency kit that includes essential items such as flashlights, batteries, non-perishable food, water, and a first aid kit. Keep the kit easily accessible in case of a power outage or other emergencies.
To protect your electronics from power surges when the power comes back on after an outage, unplug them during the outage. This step prevents damage to sensitive devices and reduces the risk of electrical fires. During a power outage, conserve the power of your backup generator by minimizing unnecessary electricity usage. Turn off lights, unplug non-essential devices, and use power-efficient alternatives when possible.
Securing Your Home While on Vacation
Coming home to a house that’s been broken into isn’t the best way to end a well-deserved vacation. Before you leave, let a friend or trusted neighbors know about your vacation plans. When it comes to social media, be extra cautious.
A selfie showing off that vacation glow or a breathtaking exotic sunset might feel carefree in the moment, but you’re also broadcasting that you’re far from home. Keep your privacy settings in check or wait until you return to post a photo dump.
If you don’t already have a solid surveillance system, you could always create the illusion that you’re home by setting timers for lights, radios, or TVs. Another giveaway that you’re not home? A pile of uncollected mail or packages. Temporarily stop mail deliveries, pause any subscriptions you may have or ask a trusted neighbor to collect them for you.
Keeping Pests and Insects at Bay
Summer is an attractive time for pests to seek shelter in the cool AC of your home. Prevent unwelcome guests like insects, rodents, and other pests from infiltrating your home by inspecting for any openings or cracks. Seal them with caulk or other appropriate materials.
Remove sources of standing water around your property, as they attract mosquitoes and other pests. Empty and clean birdbaths, plant saucers, and clogged gutters to prevent water accumulation.
As an additional measure, explore natural pest repellents as an alternative to chemical pesticides. Planting pest-repelling herbs like basil, lavender, or mint around your garden can deter insects, while diatomaceous earth can control crawling pests indoors.
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