The Home Safety Checklist for Your Final Walk-Through

The Home Safety Checklist for Your Final Walk-Through

  • 06/17/19
When you buy a home, you’ll do a final walk-through on closing day. Usually, you do it right before you go to the closing, where you’ll sign the paperwork that makes the seller’s home your home. Your real estate agent will go with you, and he or she will help make sure everything’s the way it should be – including fixtures remaining with the home and a handful of other things – but there are a couple of things you should really go out of your way to check.

Use this home safety checklist to make sure you don’t miss anything that’s there to protect you and your family.

The Home Safety Checklist for Your Final Walk-Through

You’ll definitely have to look at other things that aren’t on this list – this list is all about safety. As you walk through your soon-to-be home, check:
  1. Smoke detectors
  2. Carbon monoxide detectors
  3. Fire extinguishers
  4. Dryer vents
  5. Water heater
  6. Front and back doors
  7. Locks
Let’s take a closer look at each of these.

Safety Check #1: Smoke detectors

Smoke detectors can literally save your life (the National Fire Protection Association says that 3 in 5 home fire deaths occur in homes without smoke alarms or non-working smoke alarms), so walk through the house and test all of them. You should have smoke alarms in every bedroom and in the hallways, as well as in the kitchen.

Safety Check #2: Carbon monoxide detectors

More than 150 people die each year due to accidental carbon monoxide poisoning, and without a working detector, you’ll never know it’s in your home. It has no color, no smell and no taste – and prolonged exposure or large amounts of carbon monoxide can overtake you within moments. You can actually lose consciousness and suffocate, so make sure all the carbon monoxide detectors in your soon-to-be home are installed and working properly.

Safety Check #3: Fire extinguishers

You should have a fire extinguisher on every level of your home. Check in the kitchen and bathroom cabinets, which is where most people put them – if you don’t see any, let your real estate agent know.

Safety Check #4: Dryer vents

Dryer lint is extremely flammable, leading to thousands of home clothes dryer fires each year. Before you have the movers bring in your dryer, you’ll want to make sure the vent is clear and that there isn’t a buildup of lint inside.

Safety Check #5: Water heater

The last thing you want is to turn on the hot water and get burned, so check your hot water heater before you turn on the tap or faucet. The Consumer Product Safety Commission recommends you set your home water heater at 120 degrees F, but some people do turn it up – and that can be dangerous, especially when you have little kids or elderly people in the home, who are more susceptible to hot water burns.

Safety Check #6: Front and back doors

Make sure your front and back doors close properly and that you’re able to lock them. While you’re there, make sure they’re actually exterior doors – sometimes builders and other people cut corners and try to pass off interior doors for exterior ones.

Safety Check #7: Locks

You never know who has a copy of the old homeowner’s key – the babysitter, the maid, a cousin – so make sure you change the locks or have them re-keyed shortly before you move in. Make sure they’re not broken, too. In some cases, the homeowner will install new locks for you; it’s up to you whether you trust that you have the only keys for the new locks.

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