The views of this article are the perspective of the author and may not be reflective of Confessions of the Professions.
Your home is your paradise, your haven. It is where you can relax and rejuvenate after a busy day in school or at the office. Your home is your greatest treasure. You may think that your home is the safest place in the world, but hidden risks are lurking everywhere. Sadly, not all homeowners are aware of this.
Accidents and injuries like falls, burns, suffocation, choking, and carbon monoxide, alcohol, or drug poisoning are common among households in the United States. Incidents like these can be prevented, and you and your family can be protected if you do a regular home safety check. A home maintenance update can help determine if there are areas or stuff in the house that need repair. Regularly checking the appliances, furniture, and even things in the backyard or garden is vital. Doors should be in good working condition all the time, and garage door maintenance is a must.
It is also essential for every homeowner to have a home safety checklist. This list helps determine if there are areas or things in the house that can be risky or dangerous to your family. Even if you do not see anything unusual or alarming, you should do the safety checklist.
If you’re not sure how or when to start, here’s a room by room guide to help you out.
If there are walkways or hallways where the rooms are, make sure they are well-lit. Also, remove anything that blocks the way. All areas where you and your family members pass or walk by, especially stairways, should be cleared of clutter.
Rooms have electric sockets, and they can be dangerous if you have children. If you do not have socket protectors, be extra cautious and check them from time-to-time. If you hold the outlets and they are warm, you have to get in touch with your electrician or technician.
While the electrician is there, ask him to check all the wirings and electrical cords in your home.
If you cannot put a fire extinguisher in all rooms, place at least one in the house’s common areas – the kitchen would be your best option. Having one in the walkway or hallway is also a good idea.
All windows should have locks and guards to protect your family from dangerous falls. Some states require homeowners to use window guards, so do some research about state policies before moving into your new home or doing your safety check.
Consider your kitchen a high-risk area as it has appliances and electrical cords and wirings that can expose your family to danger.
Place your oven or cooking stove and other kitchen appliances far from the sink. Additionally, do not ever use your stove to heat your home unless you want to poison your family with carbon monoxide.
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It will also help if you install an exhaust fan, specifically in the area near the stove. If possible, ensure that the exhaust fan vents outside of your kitchen and home. You wouldn’t want your house to be filled with various cooking odors and moisture, would you?
If you have a storage area or cupboards in the kitchen, make sure you don’t mix food and non-food items such as cleaning solutions and bleach.
Keep all sharp objects and anything breakable far from children’s reach. Likewise, never place them anywhere near the oven or stove. Place heated water, and any hot liquid in areas children cannot reach.
Your oven or stove should have child protection caps.
Follow all the safety precautions indicated under the Living Room and All the Other Rooms section. Take note of these additional factors:
Position beds and cribs as far away as possible from the windows. Aside from falling, children can be strangled by blinds and curtain rods or strings. Also, ensure that your child’s bed or crib has a sturdy railing and that the mattress is the right fit. There shouldn’t be a big gap between the mattress and the bed railing.
All furniture inside the children’s bedroom or nursery should have child protectors, guard rails, or safety straps. Pay attention to sharp corners and high tables.
As much as possible, do not light candles inside the bedroom – any bedroom, not just your children’s – as this can cause fire-related accidents.
The bathroom is one of the places in a home where accidents often happen. Be sure to follow all safety precautions to ensure your family’s safety.
If you have a bathtub, place a non-skid mat beside it. Likewise, be sure that there are handles or grab bars on strategic areas (on the sides). If you can, place a non-skid or rubber mat inside the bathtub, especially if you have a senior family member. Just remember to clean it regularly.
Do the same thing for your showers – place a non-skid mat outside the area and make sure there are handlebars you can grab onto when showering. The bars will help prevent slips and falls.
As much as possible, do not put electric wiring or cords in the bathroom area. If you have an electric shaver and hair dryer, ensure that these are located far from the shower, tub, and sink. Do not leave them plugged in when not in use.
If you have a workshop in the basement or garage, place protectors for electric outlets and secure all power tools. Please keep them in an area that your children cannot easily reach or find—likewise, store chemicals and other dangerous household items in a safe space.
Never store gasoline in your home, even if it’s only in the garage or basement. Also, make sure paints and other flammable stuff are kept away from heated areas, water heaters, and furnaces. Ensure that all chemical items are correctly and clearly labeled.
Regularly have your garage door checked to ensure that it is in good working condition. Additionally, all gas-powered appliances, heaters, and similar items should be professionally maintained.
Finally, make sure that your home is equipped with a reliable security system. It also helps if you have an emergency plan in place. Include an exit or escape route, which can help if a fire breaks out or your home is flooded. Most of all, do regular safety checks in all the areas in your home. Ensuring that your home has all safety precautions in place is the best way to prevent accidents and injuries.