Home Sweet Home
On these pages, you will find information about taking care of your home, answers to leasing questions and other helpful resources.
Creative Housing promotes life safety through building systems and policies, reducing the potential risks to both life and property. Many homes are equipped with residential sprinkler systems and all homes have monitored smoke detectors, fire extinguishers and carbon monoxide detectors. Households should be familiar with Creative Housing’s Fire Safety Policy.
Each Creative Housing home has an interconnected smoke detector system powered by your home’s electrical system. If there is a power outage, the system will operate on a system battery backup for several hours. Smoke detectors must be tested monthly and testing results logged in the FCBDD Monthly Safety Checklist. You may download a testing instruction sheet or watch our instructional video.
If the keypad shows anything except “Ready” showing a green light, please call Creative Housing to arrange for service. A yellow or red light indicates trouble. Please contact Creative Housing.
If your phone is not operational, the alarm will sound in the event of a fire but no signal will be sent to the monitoring company and the fire department will not be notified. Households should have an evacuation plan, in case of a fire.
Carbon Monoxide Detectors
All Creative Housing homes have carbon monoxide detectors. We are in the process of upgrading stand‐alone detectors to monitored detectors.
Stand-alone detectors display a number on them. If the reading is 35 to 99: Open the doors and windows, evacuate the house and call Creative Housing. If anyone is experiencing symptoms (headache, nausea, sleepiness or unable to be awakened), call 911 for medical assistance. If the reading is 100 or above: Evacuate the house. Call 911 and tell them that your carbon monoxide detector is going off and what the reading is. Call Creative Housing.
Monitored detectors have a small indicator light. If there is an unacceptable level of carbon monoxide in your home, the alarm will sound and the alarm company will be notified. They will dispatch the fire
department to evaluate the problem. Evacuate the house. If anyone is experiencing symptoms (headache, nausea, sleepiness or unable to be awakened), call 911 for medical assistance.
Additional Fire Safety Precautions
Practice fire drills regularly
Know where your fire extinguisher is and how to use it
Keep bedroom windows clear of obstruction for emergency egress
Maintain clear pathways through the house to both front & rear exterior doors.
Do not use extension cords – use surge protectors instead
If you notice broken or missing outlet or switch plates, contact Creative Housing for repair/replacement
Do not use candles or other burning or plug-in aroma products
Pests in the home can create a health risk. They may cause illnesses, including headaches, fever, nausea, diarrhea, and abdominal pain from contaminated food sources. Fleas, cockroaches, and mice are also common carriers for disease. Pests can also cause structural damage to a home and damage to electrical wires, which may cause a short that can start house fires. It is important that households are familiar with Creative Housing’s Pest Policy.
When warm weather arrives so do some other unwelcome visitors such as ants, roaches, or other creepy crawlers. We recommend that you do the following:
- Vacuum your kitchen floor daily to remove all food crumbs. Wash the floor weekly. (See Floor Care Recommendations) Immediately clean up food or beverage spills.
- Do not leave unwashed dishes in your sink for any length of time.
- Keep lids on all your garbage cans. Make sure your garbage is taken out regularly.
- If you collect pop cans for recycling, wash them out with water and store them in plastic garbage bags. Take the cans to your recycling location regularly.
If you do begin to see a few bugs, purchase and use over the counter sprays and traps at your local grocery store. Be sure to follow the directions on the label.
These steps should prevent or take care of any problem that you have. If you do get a major infestation, contact our office. We will work with you to correct the situation.
Floor Care Recommendations
Here are some tips for the care of your vinyl or ceramic floors in either your bathrooms or kitchens.
- Sweep your kitchen floor each day to pick up any food crumbs, which may attract insects. Clean floors on a weekly basis using warm water and a cleaning product such as Mr. Clean, Spic ‘n’ Span, Lysol, etc.
- DO NOT use products such as Mop ‘n’ Glo, shining products or wax of any kind.
These products will seal in any dirt left on the floor. The only way this can be removed is by stripping the floors, which, in turn, could damage the vinyl.
- If you have an ant or insect problem, you should clean your floor twice a week using a solution of ¼ cup of Clorox in 2 gallons of water. Do not use bleach directly on the floor. This could damage the finish. After cleaning the floor, place some ant traps in the areas where you saw the ants.
- Be sure to keep bathroom ceramic tile free from soap scum to avoid falls. If the floor becomes slippery, use a product such as Lysol Soap Scum Remover or X-14 Soap Scum Remover, which can be purchased at any grocery store, to wash the floor and then rinse thoroughly.
- Make sure your kitchen chairs and table have coasters on their legs. Unprotected chairs and tables will scratch or gouge kitchen floors.
The walls of your home are painted with a washable paint. Regular cleaning with a sponge or cloth dipped in soap and warm water will remove any dirt or fingerprints that are on your walls.
If you use a wheelchair and are regularly bumping part of a wall and gouging it, please contact us. We will put protective strips or corner molding on the wall as needed.
Care of Laminate Flooring
- Vacuum or use a dust mop frequently. If necessary, wipe with a damp cloth using Armstrong Once ‘n Done No-Rinse Cleaner. Use the lowest dilution ratio and do not flood the floor. A light damp mop is all you need.
- For spills, spray and wipe with Armstrong Once ‘n Done trigger spray.
- Do not use soap-based detergents or “mop and shine products” as these may leave a dull film on your floor.
- Do not use abrasive cleaners, steel wool or scouring powder. They can scratch your floor.
- Do not wax or polish your floor.
- Remove tough spots like shoe polish, tar, asphalt driveway sealer or nail polish with fingernail polish remover with acetone. Then wipe with a damp cloth.
- Use Armstrong Floor Protectors or Felt Pads on furniture and chairs. Unprotected chairs and tables will gouge the floor.
- Use a natural or colorfast mat at outside entrances.
The products mentioned above are available at Lowe’s.
You should thoroughly clean your bathroom with a disinfectant cleaner once a week. If this is not done, soap scum will begin to build up in your tub and sink. Also, be sure to clean your toilet with toilet bowl cleaner and a toilet brush. Lack of cleaning will cause fungus and mildew to grow in bathroom grout. You can find toilet bowl cleaner, tub and grout cleaner and floor cleaner at your local supermarket.
It is your responsibility to keep the carpet clean in your house. You should vacuum your carpet at least once a week to keep dirt from being ground into the carpet. If you see dirt on the carpet, you may have to vacuum more often. Anytime you spill something on your carpet, you should clean it immediately to prevent the carpet from being stained. We recommend that you always keep some carpet stain remover in your home to use when spills occur. Carpet stain remover can be found at your grocery store.
If you use a wheelchair, work with your provider to wipe off your wheels when you enter the house in bad weather. This will prevent mud from being tracked into the house in warm weather and ice and road salt in the winter.
We recommend that you have your carpet professionally cleaned twice a year. You may have to do this more often if you have excessive staining.
You should always have a supply of light bulbs on hand to use when bulbs burn out. When replacing bulbs in enclosed areas like ceiling fixtures or globe lights, always use a low wattage bulb (40 – 60 Watts). High wattage bulbs in enclosed spaces give off heat, can be unsafe, and will usually burn out quicker. Also it is a good idea to buy good quality bulbs. Inexpensive bulbs tend to burn out in a very short time.
If you have a dishwasher, it is important to scrape food and rinse off dirty plates before putting them in the dishwasher. Make sure that you are stacking the dishes correctly and that none of the plates or utensils are blocking the spray arms. It is a good idea not to put plastic items in the dishwasher. Plastic items are too light to stay in the racks during washing and end up on the heating element where they melt. Oftentimes, this causes damage and requires a service call from an appliance repair person.
Make sure to use dishwasher detergent in your dishwasher. We recommend that you use a premium product such as Cascade, Sun Light or Electrosol. Some less expensive dishwasher detergents leave spots on dishes and glasses and are not always effective in cleaning properly.
When using your washing machine. Be careful not to put too much clothing in the machine. Overloading will cause the machine to shake and sometimes to not operate. Be sure to clean the lint trap on your dryer after each use. Check the pockets on all your clothes and remove loose change or objects, which can damage your washer or dryer or clothes. If you are washing nylon stockings, make sure they are in hosiery bags designed to hold nylons while they are being washed. Otherwise, your stockings can get tangled in the washing machine motor.
Be careful not to flush any paper products down the toilet other than toilet paper. Items such as paper towels or sanitary napkins will often clog a toilet. If a toilet becomes clogged, you should use a toilet plunger and attempt to solve the problem before calling us.
If you have a toilet that continues to run after flushing, please contact our office immediately. A running toilet will result in very high water bills.
Heating/Air Conditioning Systems
Your home has both heating and air-conditioning systems. Make sure that when you want warm air, the thermostat is switched to HEAT. When you want air conditioning, it should be switched to COOL. When the air conditioning is on, NEVER set the thermostat below 70 degrees. This is extremely important. If it is set lower than 70 degrees, the unit can freeze up, which may result in serious damage to the unit. This could be expensive for Creative Housing and also for tenants and/or staff. If you have problems with your furnace or air conditioner, please call the Creative Housing office.
Always remember to run water when you are using your disposal and for at least two minutes after you finish. This prevents blockages.
Never pour cooking grease into your disposal or sink. This will clog the disposal and sink lines.
If you drop a solid object (such as a knife or fork) into your disposal, turn if off immediately and seek help from your support provider to get it out. Be careful to never reach into your garbage disposal while it is running or when someone else might turn it on.
Carbon Monoxide Detectors
All Creative Housing homes have a carbon monoxide detector. The detector runs off household current. You do not have to change batteries. The detector samples the air for carbon monoxide every 2.5 minutes. The blinking dot in the window indicates the carbon monoxide detector is working. The number in the window indicates the level of carbon monoxide in your home. Usually, the number will be a “0.”
Instructions for monitoring your carbon monoxide detector should be posted beside the detector. If they are not, please call the office and we will see that you get an instruction card.
Instructions are as follows:
- If alarm sounds: Note the reading and press the reset button to silence the alarm. If alarm continues and reading is below 35, call Creative Housing at 614-418-7725.
- If the reading is 35 to 100: Open the doors and windows and call Creative Housing. If anyone is experiencing symptoms, call 911 for medical assistance.
- If the reading is 100 or above: Evacuate the house, call Creative Housing and wait for assistance. If anyone is experiencing symptoms, call 911 for medical assistance.
Smoke Detector System
Each Creative Housing home has an interconnected SDG smoke detector system. The system is powered by your house electrical system. When the system detects smoke, an alarm will sound. You should then follow your fire evacuation plan. The SDG operator will contact the fire department that will dispatch fire trucks to the scene. In addition, the SDG operator will call the emergency number of your support provider and inform them that smoke detectors have gone off at your property.
In case of a false alarm:
- Press 1234 – Off to silence the alarm.
- Call SDG at 614-236-5900 immediately to cancel alarm.
- Wait approximately two minutes, then press 1234 – Off to reset the alarm.
If the readout on the screen on the SDG keypad says “Trouble” after clearing out the alarm with 1-2-3-4, call Creative Housing at 614-418-7725 for service.
Creative Housing will provide basic lawn care at your house. We will mow your yard (usually every week) and put mulch down around the house once a year. We will also have your lawn treated with weed and feed when necessary. A little flag marker will be put in your yard when this is done.
If you plant a vegetable garden or flower garden, we suggest that you mark it with stakes or a little fence so our lawn crews don’t accidentally mow over it.
We encourage you to plant flowers and bushes around your home and to take care of them and every now and then by pulling out any weeds. It will help your house look better, and gardening is a great way to meet your neighbors.
Remember, according to your lease, snow removal is your responsibility. If you need assistance with snow removal, make sure you have made arrangements with your support provider to get help.
We are happy that you have chosen to live in a Creative Housing home and look forward to providing you with a safe, affordable and inclusive home in the community.
Your lease packet has a lot of information that will answer most questions you may have about being a resident with Creative Housing, including:
Guardian of Person Addendum
Fire Safety Policy
Bed Bug Readiness Checklist
Bed Bug Treatment Procedures
Supports Change Policy
Service-Assistive Animal Addendum_CH
Third Party Work
CHI Home Access
Outdoor Recreational Equipment Policy
Abandoned Property Consent
Release of Information
Paying your rent
Tenants are responsible for maintaining electric and gas in their name. Phone, internet and cable services are also tenants’ choice and responsibility. If changing phone providers or phone numbers, please be sure to contact the office and provide us with your new phone number.
Creative Housing pays for water up to average residential water bills as published by municipalities. Households may be assessed for excessive water usage. Please report leaks as soon as possible so we can prevent unintentional water usage.
Creative Housing is responsible for rubbish service and households are responsible for proper disposal of rubbish, including any bulk pick-up needs for larger items.
Below are some helpful resources:
Occasionally we may have to do extensive work to a particular property such as roof repairs, painting, and basement repairs. We will work with you and your provider to make you aware of our work schedule to ensure that the work is completed at a time convenient to you.
Creative Housing staff persons come to your home several times a year even if you don’t call with a maintenance request. There are things that we have to check to make sure that your house if operating OK and to find any repair work that may not have been reported to us. Following is a list of our inspections.
- Furnace Inspection (yearly)
- Furnace Filter Changes (four times each year)
- Smoke Detector/Safety Inspection (yearly)
- General Maintenance Inspection (twice each year)
- Electrical Inspection (every three years)
- Fire Extinguisher Inspection and Recharging (yearly)
We will notify you in advance that we are coming to your home. We appreciate your cooperation with our inspection program. It helps to make sure that your house stays in good repair and operates safely.
Household Tool Kit
We recommend that you have a simple tool kit in you home (hammer, screw driver, pliers, lubricant, toilet plunger, etc). Very often there will be simple repairs to your house that you or your provider can complete. For instance you may be able to tighten a loose screw on a kitchen cabinet or oil a squeaky door hinge. This will save a trip by Creative Housing Maintenance worker and help keep our costs down.