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After taking possession of a new home, there are some maintenance and safety issues that should be addressed immediately. The following checklist should help you undertake these improvements:

-Change the locks on all exterior entrances, for improved security.

-Check that all windows and doors are secure. Improve window hardware as necessary. Security rods can be added to sliding windows and doors. Consideration could also be given to a security system.

-Install smoke detectors on each level of the home. Ensure that there is a smoke detector outside all sleeping areas. Replace batteries on any existing smoke detectors and test them. Make a note to replace batteries again in one year.

-Create a plan of action in the event of a fire in your home. Ensure that there is an operable window or door in every room of the house. Consult with your local fire department regarding fire safety issues and what to do in the event of fire.

-Examine driveways and walkways for trip hazards. Undertake repairs where necessary.

-Examine the interior of the home for trip hazards. Loose or torn carpeting and flooring should be repaired.

-Undertake improvements to all stairways, decks, porches and landings where there is a risk of falling or stumbling.

-Review your home inspection report for any items that require immediate improvement or further investigation. Address these areas as required.

-Install rain caps and vermin screens on all chimney flues, as necessary.

-Investigate the location of the main shut-offs for the plumbing, heating and electrical systems. If you attended the home inspection, these items would have been pointed out to you.

For regular maintenance tips for monthly, spring and fall, and annual intervals, please see the remainder of this article at

This excerpt was reproduced with the permission of Maureen Wood of Town & Country Home Inspections, (416) 837-5144, [email protected].

Download the PDF: Concepts Newsletter – Winter 2010

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