2018 is right around the corner; making it the perfect time to do a health check on some of your most commonly used household items. It is easy to take things like a fire extinguisher or the family first aid kit for granted. This year, get ahead of the expiration game and take an inventory of products that may need replacing. In this quick guide, we cover all of the home essentials for you, so you are prepared (and can have peace of mind) all year long.
The U.S. Fire Administration recommends replacing your smoke alarm every ten years. To check if your smoke alarm works, push the test button on the alarm. If you haven’t replaced the battery in a while, consider buying a new one, just to be on the safe side. Carbon monoxide detectors typically have a life of five to seven years. Be sure to check these too and replace the batteries, if needed!
Fire extinguishers can last anywhere between 5-15 years. Check the gauge on the top of the extinguisher to see if it is still operational. If your needle falls in the green area of the gauge, you are all set. If it’s below the green area, you are going to want to buy a replacement. While you are at it, take a second to review the instructions on how to use the fire extinguisher. Should a fire break out, you will be glad you did!
The home first aid kit is an item you hope to never use, but it’s essential that you keep one on deck for emergencies. Many items in a first aid kit have an expiration date; however, you may not have to replace all of the contents at once. Take an inventory of all your supplies and replace any out of date medications or low stock items. Consider keeping a smaller first aid kit in your car too, you never know when you might need a band-aid on the road!
Regular replacement of household filters will keep your appliances and devices in top shape. Here are a couple of recommended guidelines so you can get the most from your machines!
- Air purifier filters – Air purifier manufacturer Holmes® suggests replacing your air purifier filter every 3-6 months, depending on your usage.
- Vacuum filters – Consult your vacuum’s user manual to determine when you should replace the filter. If you use your vacuum once a week, consider replacing the filter every few months.
- Water filters – If you have a Brita® water filter at home, you generally want to replace them every two months. Check out their support page for details on specific filters.
If you’ve had a certain storage container for more than 10 years, it’s probably time to upgrade. Containers can quickly lose their shape over time and you might consider switching all of your containers to a BPA-free plastic. BPA is chemical that’s been used in plastics manufacturing for more than forty years. In the last decade, researchers discovered it could cause some potential health effects, and ever since, we’ve seen more and more products with a “BPA-free” label.
Cartridge replacement all depends on how frequently you use your printer. Ink cartridges that have been sitting idle in your printer for an extended period of time always run the risk of potentially drying out. Try running a small print job at least once a week to keep your cartridges primed. You can also run the printhead cleaning function on your printer a couple of times to get them going again. Toner cartridges use a dry plastic toner powder to produce a print, so the do not dry out like an ink cartridge, but they can clump. Most cartridges have a shelf life of 24-36 months, so if you have a couple in storage, you will be covered for a good amount of time. We recommend keeping your cartridges upright in a dark space for best results.
There is a comfort in knowing that your entire home is firing on all cylinders. Performing a quick health check on all of the essentials is a great way to kick off the new year and ensure everything is in working order. If you have any other replacement suggestions, drop us a line in the comments, we’d love to hear from you. Happy New Year!