New Homeowner's Safety Checklist

Congratulations on the purchase of your new home! Now that you’ve moved in, you may want to consider the following home safety tips and suggestions to make your new house your home.

Important Safety Items:

 Doors-  Change the locks on all exterior entrances for improved security. Make extra set of keys.

Windows-  Check that all windows and doors are secure. Improve window hardware as necessary. Security rods can be added to sliding windows and doors.

Know Your Shut-off Valves

Furnace-  Where is it? What kind of fuel does it use? How often do you have to clean or replace the filters? Where do you get new filters? If it’s an oil furnace, when do you need to refill it and whom do you call? If it goes out, who do you call to repair it? Can you get a maintenance contract? Where’s the reset button? Does it have a fan to cool the house in the summer?

Water heater-  Does it have a pilot light? What if it goes out—how do you relight it? How do you set the temperature? What temperature should you set it to?

Fireplace Flu-  Be sure to have it cleaned every 1 to 3 years, depending on how often you use your fireplace. Avoiding it can cause the chimney not to draw well (you’ll notice that smoke stays in the room instead of going out) or can ultimately cause a chimney fire.

Shut-Off Valves- Review the location of all of the shutoff valves and how to turn them off with all your family members so you’ll be prepared for emergencies.

 Gas shutoff valve: Locate and show entire family how to turnoff.

 Electrical Panel/Breaker box: Label main circuit breaker and show entire family how to shut off main breaker in an emergency, or flip any circuits back on after an overload.

Whole-house water shutoff valves: The main shutoff should be beside the meter if you are on City water. If you use a well, the shutoff will be on the house side of the pressure tank. You should also know how to cut power to the tank.

Whole-house hot water shutoff: There should be a valve on the hot water outlet of the water heater, which controls all of the hot water to the house.

 Toilet shutoffs: Show your entire family how to shut off the toilet by turning the ribbed oval handle under the tank if it ever starts to overflow.

 Sink shutoffs: You should have handles beneath the sinks or within the cabinets; the one on the left is usually for hot water, the one on the right for cold.

 Dishwasher shutoffs: Look under the kitchen sink for a reducer coupling and shutoff valve leading to the dishwasher on the 1/2” inch hot water sink supply line.

Washing machine: Valves are usually where the washer hoses meet the house supply lines. However, washer hoses are notoriously weak, so consider changing them routinely every year or at least close the valves when leaving home for an extended period.

Review Possible Tripping Hazards

 Undertake improvements to all stairways, decks, porches, landings, driveways and walkways where there is a risk of falling or stumbling.

 Examine interior for loose or torn carpeting and flooring. Undertake repairs where necessary.

Smoke Detectors-  Install smoke detectors on each level of the home. Ensure that there is a smoke detector outside all sleeping areas. Replace batteries on any existing smoke detectors and test them. Make a note to replace them in a year.


Evacuation Plan

Create a plan of action in the event of a fire or earthquake in your home. Ensure that there is an operable window or door in every room of the house. Provide rope or ladders on upper stories if there is no fire escape.

Visit for detailed information.

Fire Extinguisher

Purchase a general-purpose fire extinguisher for each floor of the home plus one small kitchen extinguisher for grease fires.

First-Aid Kit

Keep first-aid materials and a manual in an accessible location.

Household Tools

Consider filling a toolbox with the basic tools to help you with normal home maintenance chores. Include:


 A variety of nails

 Picture wire

 A variety of screws and nuts

 Flathead and Phillips screwdrivers


 Plumbers wrench

 Electric drill with drill and

screwdriver bits

 Ratchet set

 Small wood saw

 Duct tape


 WD 40

 Clean cotton “shop” rags

 Toilet plunger

 Tape Measure

 Caulk and caulking gun

Windermere Homes & Estates
830 W. Valley Parkway 330 • Escondido, CA 92025
Phone: (760)470-2519 • DRE LIC. #01345138

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