2. The heat is on! Change your furnace and return air filters to ensure proper performance of your HVAC system. Depending on how recently your dream home was built, you may want to schedule regular maintenance of your heating-system and cleaning of the boiler or furnace.
3. Screen-savers. If you are like many Michiganders and use storm doors, now is the time to take them down and check all weather-stripping and door sweeps.
4. Pipe protection. Remove and roll up all hoses. Then turn off the water to the exterior faucets, preferably before the first frost.
5. Better safe than sorry. Many people overlook restocking emergency kits, however it is important to make sure that medicine has not expired and you have ample supplies. Stock bottled water, first aid supplies, flashlights, emergency blankets, a solar- or hand-crank powered radio, and non-perishable food (pets too) just in case. Check out the American Red Cross website for comprehensive emergency supply recommendations.
6. Testing, testing. Check all home safety devices in case you need to replace the batteries. The smoke and carbon monoxide detectors are life-saving devices that require your attention. Also check the expiration date of your fire extinguisher in case of fire, and have a fire evacuation plan ready.
7. Clear doorways. The foyer and mudroom are high-traffic areas where many shoes, boots, backpacks, bags, coats, hats, gloves umbrellas, etc. tend to accumulate. The clutter can cause family members and guests to easily trip, so keep it organized by following these tips.
8. Nighttime safety. If you have children or aging family members living with you, install a few night-lights in main hallways to ensure their safety. Illuminating the path from bedrooms to the bathroom, for example, will help prevent trips and falls. There are automatic versions which are ideal for Michigan fall and winter seasons when it is darker out much earlier than the spring and summer months.
9. Kitchen clean-up. This ‘heart-of-the-home’ bears the brunt of most families’ activities, from food preparation to play-doh makinig. Degrease the range hood and scrub the filter. Dust any open shelving and all light fixtures. Wipe down the cabinets and interior shelves. Wash all windows and scrub small and large home appliances.
10. Furry family members. Low temperatures can be dangerous for cats and dogs, so limit their time outside. The Michigan Humane Society recommends taking your dog out for frequent walks, but keeping pets indoors the rest of the time.
Article by: Jennifer Elkow
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