Seven Home Maintenance Action Items

by Bruce Montgomery Ph.D. April 30, 2016

Seven Home Maintenance Action Items

Safety suggestion – Get a calendar and at the beginning of each year, mark dates when you will perform the following key safety activities:

  1. Test Carbon Monoxide alarms at least once a month by pressing the TEST button.
    • Replace CO alarm batteries at least once a year. If an alarm “chirps” or “beeps” to indicate low batteries, they should be replaced immediately.
    • Don’t have a CO Alarm – Get one! LINK TO PRODUCTS PAGE
    • Alarm Tips: Make sure that everyone in your family knows the difference between the sound of the CO and smoke alarms, and what number to call for a CO emergency. If your CO alarm sounds, immediately move to fresh air outside. Alert others in the home to the danger and make sure everyone gets to fresh air safely.
    • See more at:
  2. Test fire & smoke alarms at least once a month by pressing the TEST button.
    • Replace fire & smoke alarm batteries at least once a year.
    • Smoke alarms should be installed in every bedroom, outside each sleeping area, and on every level of the home. For the best protection, smoke alarms should be interconnected, so that they all sound if one sounds. Manufacturers are now producing battery operated alarms that are interconnected by wireless technology. SEE PRODUCT LIST
    • See more at:
  3. Check fire extinguishers monthly to ensure the pressure is at the recommended level – if not then replace it
  4. Update medical alert & emergency contact lists at least once each year (JANUARY) and when your medical condition changes or you have new medical providers
    • Buy or make a chart that lists the following information in case of an emergency – post it on your refrigerator, near your phone or any other obvious place (have several around the house)
      • Your medical information indicating your full name, age, medications, allergies and health conditions
      • Your doctors’ name and contact information
  • Family members’ contact information
  • Names and breeds of pets
  • 911 in big numbers – we sometimes forget even basic things in an emergency
  • Your own phone number and address – in case you forget when calling for help
  1. Change the furnace filter every month.
    • Have your furnace or heating systems serviced by a qualified service company every two years for a gas furnace and every year for an oil furnace
  2. Clean your dryer’s lint screen after every load of laundry. To reduce the chance of a lint fire, consider replacing flexible ducts made of foil or plastic with metal ducts.
  3. Have a professional inspect your wood burning fireplaces and stoves annually and cleaned and repaired as required to prevent chimney fires, carbon monoxide poisoning and mortar and flashing failure.

Like the old saying goes, "Better safe than sorry"! While these actions items may not be someones idea of a fun-filled Saturday, spreading them out and doing these throughout the year could save yourself or a loved one from an unnecessary accident!

*Fall prevention efforts can reduce the risk of falling. Caregivers and older homeowners can become knowledgeable about what needs to be done to make homes as fall-proof as possible. Check here often and search for product ideas that can make you safer in your home!

Bruce Montgomery Ph.D.
Bruce Montgomery Ph.D.


Dr. Bruce Montgomery is a licensed building contractor in Michigan and Florida. He is a Certified Aging-in-Place Specialist as designated by the National Association of Home Builders. He has also achieved an Executive Certificate in Home Modification from the University of Southern California. He has a wide ranging educational background, including a Master of Science degree in Entomology, with a Master of Science degree in Forestry and a Ph.D. in educational administration.