Keeping your home safe reduces the chances of injury and accidents for you, your family, and your visitors. Here’s a safety checklist to assess common areas of concern so you can improve safety in your home.
Smoke & Carbon Monoxide
Fire prevention experts recommend a smoke and carbon monoxide alarm on every level of your home. Family members should know two escape routes from each room and a parent should test the alarm batteries monthly. Replace the batteries every 6 months.
Chemicals, Cleaners & Medications
Store dangerous chemicals, household cleaners, and medications out of children’s reach and where they cannot see them easily. Store items in their original containers and post emergency numbers for poison control and hospitals nearby. Use safety locks on cabinets in households with small children.
Choking & Strangulation
Tuck away window blind cords so children cannot reach them. Remove small items from lower areas of the home so children do not put them in their mouth.
Buy toys appropriate for your child’s age and development. Read the instructions and warning labels before the child plays with the toy.
Set your water heater to 120F to avoid scalds. Never leave children unattended in the bath or around the pool. Send your children for swimming lessons – it saves lives.
Install a water alarm in your basement to prevent expensive water damage in your home.
The National Fire Protection Associations reports fires caused 14.3 billion dollars in damage in 2015. One in six deaths and almost half of structural fires were a direct result of unattended cooking.
NFPA suggests a multi-purpose extinguisher for the home large enough to put out a small fire, but not so heavy as to be difficult to handle. Install it near an exit and learn how and when to use it.
Reduce the risk of trips and falls by tucking away extension cords behind furniture. Use approved power strips for multiple cords.
Store gardening tools, sporting goods, and bicycles on hooks to free up floor space and minimize obstacles. Do periodic purges and send unused items to charity shops. One person’s trash is another one’s treasure.
Check handrails for stability and use approved safety gates at the top and bottom of stairs to keep children off of stairs.
Replace burnt out lightbulbs inside and outside of the homes. Dark areas are common spots for trips and falls and they encourage burglars.
Use LED nightlights in bathrooms and hallways. They save electricity and increase safety.
Secure throw rugs with double-sided tape or use a sticky underlay so the rug does not move. Tack down loose carpet edges and repair tears.
Use a rubber mat in the bottom of the tub or add adhesive decals to prevent slipping in the shower.
Wipe up spilled water and water tracked in from the outdoors. It can make wood or tiled floor very slippery and increases the risk of falls.
Buy a first aid kit and take a basic first aid course. Even basic knowledge can save lives and ease discomfort if someone gets hurt. Store the first aid kit in an easily accessible area such as the bathroom or kitchen.
Do a periodic walk through of your home to spot any potential problems. Don’t leave repairs unattended, because they can cause injuries. And don’t forget to set aside some time to review your homeowners insurance policy with your agent to ensure you have ample coverage. You don’t want to find yourself in financial jeopardy, because you lack proper coverage.