Don’t Delay on Your Annual Mobile Home Safety Checkup!
It’s the season for New Year’s resolutions, and that means making promises to ensure health and prosperity in 2023.
When thinking about what you want to accomplish this year, you don’t want to forget about your manufactured home. From your roof to your flooring, you want to make sure that your home is safe to live in from top to bottom.
Thankfully, there are a number of things you can do every year to help bring you peace of mind all year long. Here’s what you should have on your annual mobile home safety check-up:
Check Your Fire Extinguishers
Your mobile home should have at least one fire extinguisher, ideally in or near your kitchen. If you have more than one, as many homes do, placing them near entryways is a smart idea.
An equally smart idea is to check your fire extinguishers annually to ensure that they’re still in working condition. No, this doesn’t mean spraying them in your backyard – in fact, you should hire a professional to inspect your extinguishers annually. You can either have them visit your home, or take your extinguishers to them.
Fire extinguishers don’t have a set expiration date like the gallon of milk in your fridge, but how you maintain them plays a role in how long they last. Keep your fire extinguishers in a dry, yet readily accessible place away from exposed chemicals.
Better yet, if you don’t already have a fire extinguisher in your home, it’s in your best interest to get one. They can be incredibly useful for helping contain small fires before they turn catastrophic.
Check Your Smoke Detectors – And Their Batteries!
Just as important as a fire extinguisher is the smoke detector. They’re often the first sign that something may be wrong in your home.
Most smoke detectors run on batteries, and it’s important to ensure that every smoke detector in your home has batteries that aren’t running on empty. Do a yearly check of each smoke detector to ensure that they won’t fail when you need one most.
Additionally, some smoke detectors have batteries installed within them. This means that, when a smoke detector loses its charge, you’ll swap out the entire unit by slotting it into a ceiling-mounted cradle. These disposable units sell for about $25 at most hardware stores, and only need to be changed out once every few years or so.
Make Sure Your Power Strips and Extensions Cords are Safe to Use
Power strips and extension cords are more and more prevalent in daily home use. With all of the game systems, smart speakers, appliances, and of course chargers that have found their way into our lives, it’s no wonder that cords and cables can be found in almost every nook and cranny.
That said, you want to ensure that all of your power strips – the devices that allow for up to a dozen electronics to be plugged in at once – aren’t damaged or at risk of causing damage to your home. If any wires are frayed, for example, replace them immediately.
Also, there are some appliances that you should NEVER use with an extension cord or power strip, such as space heaters. You also should NEVER plug an extension cord into a power strip, or overload outlets by using multiple power strips on a single outlet or plugging too many things into any one power strip.
Clean Your HVAC System
Your HVAC system – which operates both your furnace and your air conditioning – should be checked annually for a few reasons.
First, you want to make sure that your filters stay clean and in good operating order. These are often replaced on a monthly basis.
But, checking your HVAC system goes beyond that. You may want to check your ducts as well to ensure there’s no mold or debris.
Your system may also have what’s called a condenser or evaporator coil – these are also parts that you should check on yearly. If you don’t, you risk having your entire system break down, which could result in costly repairs.
If you’re unsure of how your central air system works, you’re best off seeking assistance from a certified HVAC professional.
Check Your Nearby Trees
Of course, not everything on this checklist is about the inside of your home.
As the leaves have fallen off the trees in many areas of the country, it’s a great idea to check any trees that may be around your property.
Do any of them brush up against or come close to making contact with power lines or other structures?
Do any branches pose a risk of breaking off and causing property damage or personal harm?
Are there any trees at risk of falling over entirely?
If any of the above are a “yes,” then you should hire a professional to either trim the problem trees or recommend another solution for keeping you and your mobile home safe. Otherwise, you risk causing damage to the exterior of your home – or worse, injuring a loved one.
One thing to note here: if you live in a manufactured home community, check with your community’s staff first to determine how to go about tree maintenance. They will likely handle it for you.
Check On Your Mobile Home’s Foundation
The mobile home foundation is a crucial component of your property. Each year, it’s important that you check the foundation, no matter what type you have, to make sure that there is no visible damage or signs of deterioration.
Things to watch out for include cracks, mold, and water from leaks or floods.
You can read more about the different types of mobile home foundation here on the MHVillager.