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New Year’s Resolutions for Your Home

The New Year and resolutions go hand-in-hand. You’ve probably already written down your personal resolutions, but have you thought about some resolutions for your home? Here are some suggestions to get you thinking about having a safer, more efficient and well-running home in this new year.

Smoke Alarms and Carbon Monoxide Detectors

It’s extremely important to test and check your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors.

Smoke Alarms

  • Install smoke alarms inside and outside each bedroom and sleeping area.
  • Install alarms on every level of the home.
  • It is best to use interconnected smoke alarms so that when one smoke alarm sounds they all sound.
  • Replace batteries at least once a year.
  • Test all smoke alarms at least once a month.
  • It is best to use of both Ionization smoke alarms and Photoelectric alarms in the home.
  • Ionization smoke alarms are quicker to warn about flaming fires.
  • Photoelectric alarms are quicker to warn about smoldering fires.
  • A smoke alarm should be on the ceiling or high on a wall.
  • Keep smoke alarms away from the kitchen to reduce false alarms.
  • Replace all smoke alarms when they are 10 years old (or according to manufacturer directions).

Carbon Monoxide Detectors

  • Alarms should be installed outside each sleeping area.
  • Install alarms on every level of the home.
  • It is best to use interconnected alarms.
  • Follow the instructions on the package to properly install the CO alarm.
  • Test alarms at least once a month.
  • Replace alarms according to the instructions on the package.
  • If the battery is low, it will sound to let you know.
  • If the battery is low, replace it.
  • If the alarm sounds, you must get fresh air.

Household Emergency Kit

It’s always a good idea to prepare an emergency kit for the home.

Essentials for Your Home Emergency Kit

  • Sufficient drinking water for every family member for 3 to 4 days.
  • First Aid Kit
  • Special medications your family members would need for a few days.
  • One blanket for every family member.
  • Flashlights with spare batteries.
  • An assortment of non-perishable foods to sustain your family for 2-3 days.
  • Manually can opener.
  • Basic cutlery to prepare simple meals, as well as for your family to use.
  • Small amount of either plastic or tin plates and cups.
  • A transistor radio with spare batteries.

Energy Efficiency

If you want to save money on energy, it’s important to know what you can do. Plus, not only will be be saving money, you?ll be helping the save the environment as well. Here are some simple tips.

  • During the hot summer, close curtains and blinds to reduce the need for air conditioning and fans.
  • Invest in more energy efficient appliances.
  • Schedule regular tune-ups for your furnace and air conditioner.
  • Choose cooling appliances that are suited to your room size. A larger unit may be wasting energy.
  • Portable air conditioners may be sufficient to keep the bedroom cool, saving on more expensive cooling appliances.
  • Change your air conditioning filters as recommended.
  • Change appliance filters according to manufacturer instructions (vacuums, air cleaners, humidifiers, etc.)
  • Use a blanket or put on more layers of clothing before turning up the heat.
  • Use dimmer switches on indoor lights and timers or motion sensors on outdoor lights.
  • Turn off lights when no one needs them.
  • Unplug electronic devices that you?re not using.
  • Use computer and game console power management features.
  • Use power strips for your electronic equipment.
  • Seal cracks and gaps around windows, doors and siding with caulk and weather stripping.
  • Leave thermostat’s fan switch on ?auto? so the fan only runs when the furnace runs.
  • Check that your water heater is set to 120 F. If not, adjust the setting.
  • Fill your clothes washer and dishwasher for each use (full loads are most efficient).
  • Use a lower temperature setting on your clothes washer. Make sure you always rinse with cold water, and switch to cold instead of warm or hot for the wash cycle.

Home Asset Inventory

After a theft, damage, or loss to your home, an inventory of your assets is crucial.? You may already have a well organized list. However, the new year is a perfect time to think about any new assets that you acquired in the past year. Now is a great time to update your inventory list. Also, make sure to talk to your insurance company for additional tips and suggestions.

Choose a Method

An effective home inventory should include both a list and a visual record for added security.

Inventory List

A? home inventory list should catalog your belongings and should include the item description (make, model, and serial number, if applicable), value, and purchase date. Don’t forget to include the items in your basement, attic, garage, and any detached structures, such as tool sheds.

Visual Record

A visual record of your possessions shows proof of ownership. This can be accomplished with a video walk-through of your home or through a series of photographs.


It’s important to thoroughly document your belongings to ensure proper coverage.

  • Receipts
  • Credit card statements
  • Other transaction documents
  • Appraisals (include the appraiser’s name and address)

Keep Your List Safe

Don’t let your home inventory list become part of the property loss. You can keep a copy of the list in a bank safe deposit box or other secure location away from your home.