Don’t wait for that annoying “low battery” chirp to remind you to service your smoke detectors. Inspect smoke alarms at least twice a year.  Install fresh batteries (we recommend lithium-ion), write the replacement date inside the cover, and finish with a light dusting or vacuum to ensure proper function. The recommended life span for a smoke detector is about 10 years, so track how long your detector has been in service and consider replacing older units. If your system consists of hard-wired smoke detectors, they should all be the same make & model for best function. Each brand communicates between units using different trace voltages. Mixing brands can cause nuisance alarms and other issues.

Give your GFCI outlets a safety check by pressing the test button. That should stop power from flowing to that outlet and possibly to others in that area. If they don’t, be sure they’re protected by a different GFCI outlet. Once you’ve tested them, press the “reset” button to turn them back on. 

Switch off the breaker that your electric heaters are connected to so you can safely remove the cover – according to manufacturer recommendations – and remove dust build-up on the motor and heating elements. Keep in mind that many thermostats do not fully cut power to the heaters, so turning them off at the breaker is key.

While you’re at it, clean out your dryer exhaust ports, from the appliance all the way to the outdoor vent. This ensures proper function and reduces fire hazard.

Prepare to tackle outdoor projects like roof and gutter cleaning or tree pruning by locating any overhead utility lines that might make contact with ladders or extended tools. Contact the utility if there are concerns about tree limbs growing into or around overhead power lines on your property and always call for locates before you dig. 

Inspect power tools and electric lawn mowers for frayed power cords, broken plugs, and weathered or damaged housings that may need repair. Keep tools in good function by storing them unplugged and in dry areas when they are not in use.


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