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Now is the perfect time to check-in on the safety of your home

Looking for some productive ways to pass the time as you shelter in place?

It is tempting and all too easy to waste away the day consuming news, social media or mindlessly streaming shows. Remaining inside is a good way to safeguard yourself and others from contracting and spreading COVID-19. For those looking for things to do while they’re stuck at home, we’ll skip the list of television recommendations and provide legit ideas to protect the long-term safety of your home.

Make sure things are flowing smoothly

As the world has come to grips with staying inside for the foreseeable future, many stores have been running low on toilet paper. Do not flush anything other than toilet paper and waste. It’s easy to turn to other paper products as a replacement, but other paper items cause clogs and sewer backups. The leading causes of home insurance claims is water damage (31.4%), with the average claim costing more than $10,000.

Check your furnace filter and replace it if necessary. Your filter’s packaging should also provide details on how often the manufacturer recommends replacing the filter with a new one. The frequency of filter changes depends on your HVAC system use, characteristics of your household, and recommendations of the filter’s manufacturer.

Check-in on your washer and dryer

Another frequent insurance claim is for house fire damage (26.8%) and the average claim severity is costly, averaging $68,000. Preventative maintenance is important. Start by cleaning out or replacing your dryer vent pipe. Check your washer hoses to be sure they are in good shape. If you have not replaced the hoses in the last seven years, consider doing so. Dryers and washing machines were involved in one out of 22 home fires (reported by U.S. fire departments), and incidents of clothes dryer fires are some of the highest in winter months.

Play it safe

If you have kids, get some fresh air outside and inspect outdoor play equipment to make sure it is in good working order. With public playgrounds closed right now, it might also be a good idea to sanitize your backyard play equipment—just to be safe. To reduce the potential for accident and injuries, use this playground safety self-inspection checklist. Claims for bodily injury remain low (3.38%) but can be costly with the average bodily injury claim exceeding $26,000.

Avoid cooking up trouble

For good measure, don’t leave pots on the stove unattended. If you have to step away from the kitchen while cooking, turn off the stove and take your pots and pans off the heat. Always move flammable items away from your stovetop; kitchen towels, oven mitts, appliance cords and even curtains can easily catch fire if set near a hot burner.

For more information about how to protect your family during the COVID-19 pandemic, check out these tips from the CDC.

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