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:

  1. Change the locks on all exterior entrances, for improved security. Add single cylinder dead bolt locks to doors.
  2. 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.
  3. Install smoke and carbon monoxide detectors on each level of the home. Ensure that there is a smoke detector outside and inside all sleeping areas. Replace smoke detectors over 9 years old. Replace batteries in any existing smoke or carbon monoxide detectors and
    test them. Make a note to replace batteries again in one year.
  4. 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.
  5. Examine driveways and walkways for trip hazards. Undertake repairs where necessary.
  6. Examine the interior of the home for trip hazards. Loose or torn carpeting and flooring should be repaired.
  7. Undertake improvements to all stairways, decks, porches and landings where there is a risk of falling or stumbling.
  8. Review your home inspection report for any items that require immediate improvement or further investigation. Address these areas as required.
  9. Install rain caps and vermin screens on all chimney flues, as necessary.
  10. Investigate the location of the main shut-offs for the plumbing, heating and electrical systems.

Regular maintenance

  1. Check that fire extinguisher(s) are fully charged. Re-charge if necessary.
  2. Examine any heating/cooling air filters and replace or clean as necessary.
  3. Inspect and clean dehumidifiers and electronic air cleaners.
  4. If the house has hot water heating, bleed radiator/convector valves.
  5. Clean gutters and downspouts. Ensure that downspouts are secure, and that the discharge of the downspouts is at least 5 feet away and downhill from house.
  6. Remove debris from window wells.
  7. Check below all plumbing fixtures for evidence of leakage.
  8. Repair or replace leaking faucets or showerheads.
  9. Secure loose toilets and repair flush mechanisms that become troublesome.
  10. Test all ground and arc fault circuit interrupter (AFCI/GFCI) devices.