Autumn brings shorter days, increased precipitation, and the start of storm season. This simple seasonal home security checklist will help you prepare for seasonal changes to keep you and your home safe and secure through the autumn months.
Clean out your gutters
Autumn and winter are sure to bring more precipitation, so cleaning your gutters is essential. When gutters are clogged, water can build up against your home’s fascia boards, causing rot and water damage to the roof and siding. Full gutters can be very heavy, especially when holding water, causing them to sag. Gutters may become disconnected in sections, leading to leaks and additional water damage to your home. Cleaning them out will ensure water flows safely away from your home during a storm.
Store your patio furniture
As storm season picks up, it’s important to secure items that may be damaged by wind and rain. This includes patio furniture: store cushions or fabric items in a secure dry area where they won’t accumulate mold or mildew. Move tables and chairs into indoor storage or an area against your home that is sheltered from the wind.
Secure your propane tanks
Protect your tanks by moving them into a secure storage location when they aren’t in use. You can keep propane tanks outdoors, but choosing an area sheltered from wind and rain is best. Strong winds could cause empty tanks to shift around (this can be noisy), while exposure to rain could cause the fittings to corrode. Consider using a bungee cord or a piece of rope to hold your tanks in place if storing them outdoors.
You can keep propane tanks indoors, but they shouldn’t be inside your house. A well-ventilated garage or shed is the best option because if a valve is left open, propane could linger inside an enclosed space, which is hazardous.
Whether indoors or outdoors, you should keep propane tanks away from flammable materials.
Make sure outdoor lights are working
Outdoor lighting will help you and your house guests navigate your outdoor walkways safely as the days grow shorter. Check that your exterior lights are functioning correctly and change any bulbs that may have burnt out. Consider installing motion sensors to automatically illuminate your walkways and front steps and reduce your risk of losing your footing when coming and going from your home in low light.
Test your smoke detectors
According to the Red Cross, house fires are most common during the fall and winter. As the weather gets colder and you begin to rely more on indoor heating, it’s crucial to ensure your smoke detectors are functioning properly. Usually, smoke detectors have a “test” button you can use to verify that they are functional. Refer to the manufacturer’s instructions if you’re unsure how to test yours. If your smoke detectors are monitored be sure to let your central station know that you are testing so you don’t have any unexpected visits from the fire department.
These are just a few ways to prepare your home as the days get longer and weather gets colder. We hope these reminders help you protect your property.