Insurance Advisor at Oliver L.E. Soden Agency, Inc

Inexpensive Fixes for a Safer Home

Maintaining a safe home offers immeasurable rewards. Not only will your home be more enjoyable, suffer fewer unexpected breakdowns and have a higher value, but also you may be able to save money on homeowners insurance. You and your neighbors aren’t the only ones who like having a well-maintained home on the block. Your insurance company does, too.


Depending on the type of home repair, your insurance carrier and your policy, you may qualify for savings on your insurance because your home will be less of a liability. The two most common upgrades that can lower your insurance include the installation of a central burglar alarm and a fire/carbon monoxide alarm. If you plan on doing any home construction projects, be sure to hire a contractor that has general liability and worker’s compensation.


Although not all home improvement projects will bring insurance savings, there’s nothing more important than having a safe, reliable home to reside in. Below are inexpensive fixes that will lead to a safer home - and you don’t need to be handy to do them!


Plumbing and Water


Even small leaks can wreak havoc on the home. If your home suffers any type of water damage, you may have to file a claim. Claims should be avoided when possible, or your insurance premium may rise. Here are some easy ways to make sure your water is flowing where it should.


  • Check your appliances. They are the most common source of water leaks in the home, so it’s helpful to check them once a year for problems. Look for cracks or kinks in the hoses and repair them as needed. You may even want to upgrade to reinforced hoses for extra durability.


  • Keep water pressure low. Though high water pressure may seem convenient, it can put unnecessary stress on pipes, hoses and water lines, causing them to burst. Purchase an inexpensive gauge to measure your water pressure.


  • Consider buying water sensors. Though they aren’t necessary, water sensors will alert you of a problem, allowing you to fix it right away.


Prevent Slips and Falls


Millions of people slip and fall in their homes every year - many of them older adults. While you may not be able to prevent every fall, many can be avoided with simple adjustments around the home.


  • Remove clutter. Small pieces of furniture, such as accent tables or floor vases, and area rugs can be hazardous. Streamline the home, and also remove other sources of clutter such as piles of books, baskets of blankets, electric cords and more.


  • Make stairs stable. A lot of trips and falls happen on the stairs, so make them as safe and sturdy as possible. Tighten or install railings and add non-slip strips if needed.


  • Install new lighting. Adequate lighting can prevent unexpected trips, so make sure your home is well-lit, especially around the stairs or other troublesome spots.


Improve Indoor Air Quality


Many people don’t realize that indoor air can be more polluted than outdoor air. This can be especially worrisome if you have allergies or asthma. To improve the indoor air quality in your home, follow the tips below.


  • Test your air. Your fire detectors and carbon monoxide alarms should be working properly, so test them regularly. Also have your home tested for radon, particularly if neighbors have had high levels.


  • Replace your air filter. This should be done every month or two to keep your HVAC equipment clean. Consider adding plants to your home that act as natural air filters.


These home improvement tips are easy to follow, and they don’t require you to do anything major or expensive. The better you care for your property, the more you will save in health, safety and improvement costs in the long run.