When you hear the word “home,” you often picture a place of comfort, safety, security, and warmth. And while this is true to some extent, the fact is that more accidents happen at home than anywhere else.
The five most fatal household injuries in the U.S. include: poisoning, falling, choking, drowning, fires and burns.
By far, more people are hospitalized from falls and fall-related accidents than any other home injury, while fires are the leading cause of death from injuries for children ages 5 to 9.
Garage door-related injuries are also quite common, because many homeowners tend to put off garage door repair.
Home injuries account for 25 million hospital visits and more than 30,000 deaths per year, many of which are children.
These numbers aren’t too surprising, though, considering that many homeowners barely do anything to prevent accidents and injuries in their households.
And it’s mostly because they don’t know what to do or where to begin. The thing with home safety, though, is that by the time you realize you’re in a dangerous situation, it’s often too late to do anything!
Make Your Home A Safer Place
As they say, safety starts at home, so do everything you can to create a safe space for yourself and your family.
It’s not difficult to educate yourself on matters involving home safety and get the ball rolling. Start with the most obvious safety hazards and address them first. Along the way, you’ll become better at identifying and dealing with threats you were previously unaware of.
Consistency is the key to maintaining a safe home environment. It’s important to regularly conduct a comprehensive safety check of all the rooms in your house.
You can do this once a month, twice a month, or every other month, as long as you always make it a point to check.
With a little foresight, you can reduce the risk of unexpected accidents, injuries, and emergencies at home.
As long as you’re willing to put in the time and a little elbow grease, it’s not impossible to make your home an embodiment of safety and happiness.
And to help spark your awareness of home safety, we’ve put together a home safety checklist that you can use as a guide while you’re still learning the ropes.
Monthly Home Safety Checklist
( ) Check garage door and address any damage promptly.
( ) Fit the front door with a smart lock.
( ) Place fire extinguishers in strategic locations around the house.
( ) Install deadbolts on doors to the outside.
( ) Install a home security system.
( ) Install/check smoke and carbon monoxide detectors.
( ) Check for frayed wires and faulty electrical systems.
( ) Test all alarms monthly and replace batteries as needed.
( ) Store flammable items away from sources of heat/flame.
( ) Check the vents for any obstruction.
( ) Inspect the water heater (at least once a year).
( ) Make sure your house number is visible from the street.
( ) Inspect appliances for potential safety hazards.
( ) Check range hood and ensure it’s fully vented.
( ) Wipe down appliance coils and vents.
( ) Keep water filters clean.
( ) Inspect drains and ensure they’re free of clogs.
( ) Test the garbage disposal.
( ) Check pipes for rust, corrosion, and possible signs of leakage.
( ) Test faucets for leaks and drips.
( ) Test and clean the showerheads.
( ) Keep first-aid kit fully-stocked.
( ) Store medications properly and out of reach of children.
( ) Put non-slip decals or bath mats on the bathroom floor.
Bedroom and Living Spaces:
( ) Create an emergency escape plan.
( ) Keep hallways well-lit.
( ) Inspect outlets and switches for damage.
( ) Install childproof outlet covers.
( ) Keep walkways level and clear of debris.
( ) Use safety railing on raised areas (decks, porches, balconies).
( ) Cover or fence off swimming pools when not in use.
( ) Install motion-sensing flood lights in the yard.
Following the points in this checklist will drastically improve the safety and security of your home. Keep in mind, though, that creating a safe home is a never-ending endeavor.
Households are constantly changing – you get married, have children, grow old, build new rooms, accumulate belongings, etc. In all of these situations, your safety needs will change as well.
Home safety can seem like a chore when you think about it. But if you practice it regularly, it’ll soon become a habit and feel like second nature.
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