Many people who own homes happen to have some handy do-it-yourself skills. They may be able to save money by performing lots of home maintenance tasks and repairs, for example, or they may be able to tackle bigger projects like paint jobs, fixture installations, landscaping work, and kitchen, basement, and bathroom remodels. But in addition to these kinds of projects that add equity or beauty to your home, it is important that you also do the kinds of upkeep and improvements that contribute to the safety of you and your family members.
At least once a year it is wise, therefore, to enlist the help of a home safety professional. He or she can reassess your home and point out any potential threats. You can, for example, hire a home inspector who specializes in this kind of examination, evaluation, and reporting. The same pro who inspected your house before you bought it, for instance, may offer this kind of service and have the proper training and credentials to ensure that your money is well spent.
Being safe also protects you from lawsuits and liability that too often follows in the path of an unfortunate accident or injury. Those kinds of legal ramifications can be financially and personally devastating, and you certainly do not want to find yourself responsible for damage to someone else’s property or injury to a friend, neighbor, or visitor to your home.
If you have hazardous materials around your home or garage, for example, those can present all sorts of potential problems. Many everyday products used for cleaning or fuel are toxic, volatile, and attractive to playful children or innocent pets that might encounter them and not realize how dangerous they are. Some volatile compounds like those stored in gas cans and even in paint tins are so unstable that they can literally burst into flames, and if you accidentally mix some household cleaners or other products they can explode.
Even something as innocuous looking as a bottle of Clorox bleach or some misplaced aluminum foil has the capacity of becoming a problem of dramatic proportions, as peculiar as that sounds. If aluminum foil, for example, is dropped into a container of bleach it tends to set off a rather wild and crazy chemical reaction. Before long the mixture of these two rather benign products can unleash a major explosion. The same goes for hydrogen peroxide used to clean cuts and scratches or for dyes and toners that you might use to give yourself a new hair color or wash out some of that pesky gray in favor of transforming yourself into a redhead or blonde.
Then there are the culprits like loose stair railings, rotten floor joists, improperly attached overhead fixtures, or hidden but frayed or incorrectly wired electrical connections. Mold can invade a home and turn it into a virtual breeding laboratory for toxins and allergens, and that old tree outside your bedroom window could crash through your roof or fall across your next door neighbor’s brand new luxury SUV or swimming pool.
Keep in mind that many of these kinds of calamities will not be covered by your homeowner’s insurance policy because in the fine print of those policies it explains that unless you maintain your home to a certain standard the coverage is null and void.
You cannot possibly be expected to keep track of so many potential safety issues – and to make sure that they are all under control. That’s why proactive homeowners just turn the job over to a licensed and certified inspector. For a nominal fee that more than pays for itself by helping you keep your homeowner’s insurance costs under control and your loved ones and property safe you can get a full report. You’ll be safer, more secure, and adequately protected from the unexpected. That’s an outcome that most homeowners would rate as invaluable – both in terms of finances and budgets and in emotional and psychological ways.