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Home Safety
 
Garage Door and Fire Safety Tips

fire doorGarage door springs have a finite life span. When the spring breaks under tension, it will recoil at a great speed, potentially causing serious injury to anyone in its path or property damage.

There is no sign or warning that the springs are about to fail. If you have your garage door replaced, the springs will be replaced with safety cables.

The lower level door between the garage and hall in the townhouses has a metal cover on the garage side of the door. The cover was installed as a fire barrier. Construction code requires this fire proof cover to remain in place. If you do not have a cover, consult with a contractor on installing fire proof protection.

Water Heater Concerns

Water heaters need pans under them to collect water in the event that the tank fails. In garden style homes, the overflow pan must be connected to the recently installed drain lines that run from the third floor to the ground.

In both town homes and garden homes, water heaters should be checked monthly for possible leaks. To do this, run your hand under the tank and around its perimeter to check for moisture. If the area is damp, shut off the tank and immediately call a plumber.

Water heaters are notorious for failing at about the same time as the manufacturer's warrantee expires. Most water heater failures are discovered when home owners find themselves walking though a layer of water on the floor. If your water heater has exceeded its life expectancy or is approaching it, you should consider replacing it now to avoid costly damage and a major inconvenience.

Water tanks must vent through the existing flue/ chimney only. Exterior wall penetrations for water heater venting is prohibited.
 

Protect Against Washer Hose Ruptures
washer hose

To prevent serious water damage to your home (and possibly your neighbor's), make sure your washer hoses are the steel braided type. Replace them if they are not, Also, remember to shut off your washing machine water valves when your washer is not in use. A ruptured hose running for hours while you are not home will cause serious damage and inconvenience.
 

Protect Your Home with Fire Extinguishers

Do you have a fire extinguisher in your home? All residents should have at least one in their home. You can purchase fire extinguishers at a local hardware store or any of the large home improvement stores. It's the type of purchase you hope you never need to use, but fires can and do happen. If a fire breaks out in your home, this equipment can prevent serious damage, as well as protecting lives.

Be aware that not all fire extinguishers can be used on all fires. Using the wrong type of can cause serious problems. You can find information about purchasing the correct type of fire extinguisher, how to use them g them, and tips for preventing fires at the following web site:

Smoke and carbon monoxide detectors: The state of Massachusetts mandates that all homes have carbon monoxide detectors on each floor . Be sure your smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors are operable and that batteries in them are fresh.
 

Inspect Toilet Tanks

Periodically inspect the bolts that fasten your toilet tanks to their fixtures. These bolts can weaken and crumble over time. Be sure the tank is empty when checking the bolts.in your toilet tanks.
 

Replace Obsolete Water Shut Off Valve

ball valveThe main water shut off valve in your home should be the "ball valve" type (picture on right). The older "gate" valves (round knob shut off valves) are obsolete and often fail during use. If you have the older type, we recommend that you have your plumber replace it.

Main valve location: In townhouse homes, the main water shut off valve is located on the garage-level floor, either in the ceiling near the staircase, or inside the closet under the stairs. In garden-style buildings, the valve is located in the ceiling of the storage unit on the deck.

It is important to notify management before turning off the main water valve.