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Winter home and garage safety maintenance checklist

Many of us appreciate the warmth, cosiness and comfort of being indoors a little more during the cooler months. With all this extra time spent in the home, confirming its safety and functionality for the months ahead should be a priority.

To help, we’ve compiled a home and garage maintenance checklist which you can get started on this weekend.

Test the smoke alarms

There’s no denying that winter is the cosiest season. Who doesn’t love sharing a slow cooked, candle-lit dinner with loved ones, while the fireplace offers the room warmth?

Checking and testing smoke alarms on a monthly basis will help to ensure their functionality.

In the cooler months, doors and windows are kept closed while heaters and fireplaces become a household essential. Consequently, it’s crucial that our smoke detectors can do their job at alerting us to danger, if need be. Ensure you have smoke detectors on each level of your home, including the garage.

Clean the gutters

Fallen leaves and debris can increase the risk of damage to gutters, homes and garages.

Autumn has run its course and the leaves have browned and fallen from their trees, and for many of us, landed in gutters around the home and garage. If left unchecked, falling leaves and other debris can clog gutters, causing water damage or creating blockages in the winter months.

Check the heater

Conducting regular tests to heaters is crucial to keep your system safe and prevent carbon monoxide poisoning.

As tempting as it may be to start using the heater at the first sign of crisp winter weather, you should conduct a thorough safety check before it becomes a feature of your home. In the first instance, search for any physical signs of wear and tear.

In addition to this, the Energy Efficient Solutions recommends having your heating system serviced regularly by a licensed technician to ensure that it continues to operate efficiently. Rinnai recommends having gas heaters serviced by a professional regularly, at least every two years. Wood heaters also require annual maintenance and flue cleaning. The New Zealand Home Heating Association offers some tips and tricks on using a wood heater.

Although the idea of sleeping with the heater on may seem appealing, remember to exercise caution with their usage and never leave them unmonitored.

Prepare for winter storms and power loss

Knowing how to operate the manual release cord on your garage door can help you and your family reach safety quickly if the power is out or household doors are not accessible.

Consequently, when it comes to emergency events like storms or unexpected loss of power, the key is to hope for the best and prepare for the worst.  For most garage doors, the manual release cord is located near the motor on the side of the door. However, for sectional and tilt doors, the manual release cord is located in the middle of the garage ceiling.

Perform a safety reversal test

To keep your garage in tip-top shape during the colder months, it’s important to set aside a few minutes to perform a safety reversal test. When working correctly, your garage door will reverse direction if it detects any obstructions before reaching the ground.

To perform a safety reversal test:

1.    Place a 40mm high object under the door (like a block of wood).
2.    Operate the door to come in contact with the object.
3.    Door should bounce back from the object in less than a second (or two seconds if safety beams are installed).
4.    If this does NOT occur, homeowners should contact an authorised Merlin dealer to inspect your garage door.

Now that winter is on our doorstep, it’s the perfect time to conduct a home and garage maintenance safety checklist and prevent any winter woes!

For more information about Merlin’s range of garage door openers and accessories, visit our website or call 0800 653 667.