Home Safety Tips For Young Children

Whether you have a kid that’s several months or years old or you’ve got another one on the way, it’s never too late to start thinking of ways to make your home fit for a small child to grow up in. Chances are, you know that young children can be curious and very energetic, but safety isn’t always the first thing on their mind, especially if they haven’t learned to walk yet. Although you’re probably planning on spending most of your time with your child, it never hurts to be too safe in case your child decides to venture off on their own while you’re distracted or working.

Keep cleaning products out of sight

Cleaning products can be one of the deadliest things around the house for young children. Every cleaning product on the market has chemicals that make them poisonous if swallowed. To us, it’s obvious that these products shouldn’t be consumed, but to a small child, all they know is that it smells good, and it’s probably sitting in a cabinet that’s about at their height. Instead of leaving them lying around after using them, make sure they’re stowed away and if you want, you can even put a padlock on your cabinets.

Cover all electrical outlets and wires

One of the most important things you can do to protect your child while they’re at home is to cover all electrical outlets with plastic covers. Young children don’t understand the dangers of outlets and they’re at just the right height to reach most of them. Plastic covers will help prevent them from getting a finger in the outlet or trying to stick one of their toys in there. If you have any appliances or fixtures with frayed wires, this can also be a safety hazard, so make sure they’re fixed before you allow your child near them.

Use gates to block stairs

Young children aren’t the best at climbing up or down stairs so you’ll only want them to attempt it when you’re with them. You should plan on blocking each staircase with a gate that can be easily opened for you to come and go as you please. Don’t forget that if you’re going to be letting your kid outside on the deck or patio, you’ll need gates for outside as well.

Clean your carpets

Think about it — your child is spending most of their time on the ground. If the floor isn’t clean, they’re going to be breathing in a lot more harmful pollutants than any fully-grown adult. Not only this, but their immune systems aren’t fully developed meaning they’ll be even more likely to get sick from an unsanitary floor. But you can’t just vacuum every day and call it good, carpets and rugs need to be professionally cleaned regularly in order to have all the allergens and harmful contaminants removed.

General home safety

In addition to all hazards that will affect your children, any general home hazard will affect your children as well as you. This includes things like poor indoor air quality that can be brought on by poor ventilation resulting in mold, mildew, and termites. Once mold and mildew are in your home, they can be very difficult to remove and can lead to serious respiratory issues.

 

Electrical wiring issues can also be a huge fire hazard if they aren’t installed correctly by your electrician. Poor electrical wiring in homes leads to thousands of house fires every year in the United States, as well as hundreds of deaths.

 

Radon is an odorless, tasteless and colorless gas that is virtually undetectable to humans. It’s also very dangerous to breathe in because it’s a carcinogen. Radon is the second highest cause of lung cancer in the U.S. right behind cigarette smoking.

Contact Safe Investment Home Inspections

When it comes to keeping children safe in your home, it’s similar to protecting yourself and other family members. The difference is that there is a lot more to worry about and small children have a difficult time understand what is a hazard and what isn’t. Aside from following the tips listed above, the most important thing you can do to protect your children is to call a home inspector who can tell you if your home is fit to raise a child in. Contact us today to learn more.

Simple Ways To Reduce Energy Consumption – Part 2

Hello, and welcome back to our blog here at Safe Investment Home Inspections. This is part two of our blog series about improving the energy efficiency of your home. Last time, we talked about why energy efficiency is important as while as how you can reduce spending on your heating and cooling, one of the highest costs on your energy bills. Keep reading to learn more.

Install a tankless water heater

The difference between a standard furnace and a tankless water heater is that they only provide hot water as it is needed. And they won’t create standby energy loss that comes with storage water heaters. Tankless water heaters also waste less water and take up less room than on-demand water heaters.

Seal and insulate

Simply sealing and insulating your home will ensure its energy efficiency for years to come. Sure, you can spend all your time and money trying to improve your heating or cooling system, but what good will that do if the energy is being lost due to poor insulation or sealing? Some of the most common places energy is lost include attic hatches, weatherstripping around doors, baseboards, window frams, and switch plates. Air leaks are more likely to occur on the ceiling or in the attic since hot air rises so having your attic inspected is a great way to find potential ways to increase your home’s energy efficiency.

 

Sealing your attic isn’t just important for energy efficiency. In a previous blog, we talked about how sealing your attic will prevent frost from forming in it due to hot air rising and condensing on the ceiling which can lead to even more problems like increased humidity, mold, and damage to your home.

Washing clothes with cold water

A simple yet effective way of saving money on your energy bills. Without having to heat the water each time you put a load of laundry in, you’ll be saving a few extra bucks on each energy bill. This will add up over time and you won’t see any real downside to washing in cold water. Give it a try!

Change the way you cook

Making small adjustments to the way you cook can also have a big impact on your home’s energy efficiency. First of all, conventional ovens are less efficient than convection ovens. They’ll use up to 20 percent less electricity and cook food more evenly at a low temperature. What’s more, a microwave oven will use even less energy at just 20 percent of the energy cost of a convection oven. If you are going to use a conventional oven, however, make sure to move the rack up to the top level and place your food there. This is where it will cook the fastest so make sure to keep an eye on it.

Add Windows

Adding windows like skylights, light shelves, clerestory windows, or light tubes is a great way to reduce the energy used to maintain your lighting fixtures. You can also replace your lighting with more energy-efficient LED lighting. This lighting will cost you more initially but will save you more in the long run.

Contact Safe Investment Home Inspection

Are you ready to speak with an expert certified home inspector in Denver or the surrounding area? Safe Investment Home Inspection is your first choice for comprehensive home inspections, allowing you to live comfortably knowing the condition of your home. We do everything from thermal imaging to radon measurement and air quality testing so give us a call today if you have any questions or you’re ready to get started.

Simple Ways To Reduce Energy Consumption

If you’re like most people, you probably believe that you’re pretty good at saving energy within your home and that you only use what you need. You turn off lights when you’re not in the room and you try to avoid using your HVAC system as much as possible. But have you really tried everything you can to reduce your energy usage? However, before getting into the details about how to reduce energy consumption, it may be a better idea to start with why saving energy is important. Keep reading to learn more.

Cost Reduction

The first and most obvious reason that you’ll want to conserve energy in your home is because it will cost you less on your monthly energy bills. According to Move.org, the average consumer spends about seven percent of their income on energy bills. Nearly half of this money goes to heating and cooling and the bigger the home, the more this will increase.

Environmental Sustainability

Although electricity is a renewable resource, that doesn’t change the fact that power plants produce waste, and if you can reduce the amount of energy you’re using, you’ll inevitably be reducing waste. Reducing energy expenditure at home can make us a more energy and waste conscious society in general which will also reduce wastefulness in other areas.

Resale Value

There’s no doubt about it — if you’re planning on selling your home, it will be much more appealing to buyers if you’ve taken steps to increase its energy efficiency.

Tax Deductions

You will be able to claim the Residential Energy Efficiency Property Credit for wind, solar, and geothermal appliances in your home according to the U.S. Department of Energy. So, not only are you getting a more energy-efficient appliance, but you’re saving on taxes as well.

 

Now that we’ve established the main reasons for reducing energy consumption in your home, let’s take a look at some of the best ways to accomplish this.

Heating and Cooling

Since heating and cooling is the biggest culprit when it comes to high energy bills, it’s only natural to start here when trying to improve the energy efficiency of your home. Up to half of the energy expenditures in our home are related to heating and cooling and it should be the goal of every homeowner to find ways to reduce this, especially those with large homes.

 

Ceiling fans

Ceiling fans are a great way to reduce energy consumption while reducing the stuffiness that can make hot rooms so unbearable. You can also try opening the windows and let some fresh air in as well. It’s tempting to think that heat is always the cause of a room being “uncomfortable,” however, circulation has a lot to do with it. Opening windows and having a fan on low will get the air moving and you’ll feel a lot more comfortable.

Replace air filters

Often times, one of the biggest culprits of high energy bills is an inefficient heating and cooling system. Your air filters are an important part of this efficiency because the air within your home is constantly being circulated through it. If you’re using an air filter that’s not ideal for your home or that’s too dirty, you will be wasting energy.

Programmable Thermostat

Programmable thermostats are a small investment for the enormous amount of money you’ll save in the long run on heating and cooling bills. Programmable thermostats allow you to set your HVAC system to automatically turn up or down based on whether you’re home or away. This is very useful for people with predictable work hours and can be adjusted easily if your schedule happens to change.

Use your fireplace

Far too many homeowners don’t use their fireplace, however, this is a great way to reduce energy consumption and costs far less than having your furnace running full blast all winter.

Close the curtains

If it’s cold outside, drawing your curtains is a great way to provide a little extra insulation at night especially if you don’t have double pane windows.

Contact Safe Investment Home Inspection

These are just a few of the many ways you can increase energy efficiency in your home. Improving energy efficiency is an important part of being a homeowner because it saves you money and a lot of hassle. However, it’s not the only thing you’ll have to worry about as a homeowner. At Safe Investment Home Inspection, we complete 500 point inspections of your home so that you can see exactly what’s going on in your home and what can be improved. Our master inspectors will provide you with the security and assurance you need to live comfortably in your own home, all while saving you time and money. Contact us today to learn more.