As a responsible home owner, you will no doubt want to ensure that your home is a safe place for you and your family, as well as any visitors. It is sometimes challenging to stay on top of home safety with the host of other demands on ones time.
Injuries due to falls are one of the most common household hazards. In fact, one out of five older adults who falls incurs a broken bone or a head injury. Wet floors, slippery stairs, and scattered toys all create the potential for falls.
Make sure all staircases have solid handrails, securely affixed flooring, adequate lighting, and safety gates if there are small children in the home.
Keep all outside stairs clear of debris and hazards like ice and snow. Add secured mats or grip tape to make surfaces less slippery.
Secure rugs to avoid slipping. Non-slip stickers are another good way to keep everyone in your home from slipping. Don’t forget about areas such as bathrooms and kitchens where water may cause a slipping incident.
Provide an easy space for kids to pack away their toys. Secure skateboards, bikes, and other mobile toys in a safe area where family members and visitors won’t trip on them.
Install safety rails to help family members old and young safely get in and out of the shower or bath.
Every year people die in house fires, most die from inhaling toxic smoke and dangerous fumes. Sadly, most household fires are accidental and preventable. Simple things such as candles or an unattended iron could lead to an accidental fire in your home, but there is a lot you can do to prevent a fire from getting out of hand.
Install fire alarms on all levels of your home, and check and change the batteries at least annually. Consider investing in a smart smoke detector which uses Wi-Fi to provide real-time updates and remote monitoring right on your smartphone or other mobile device.
Never leave candles unattended or near loose cloth like drapes or blankets. Also, make sure they are out of reach of children and that pets can’t knock them over.
Avoid an electrical fire by making sure that all appliances are in good working order and no wires are frayed. Don’t overload electrical outlets, either. In fact, it’s a smart practice to unplug small appliances like toasters when not in use.
Keep at least one fire extinguisher in your home—and check it annually to verify it is in good working order and up to date. Keep your fire extinguisher handy in the kitchen or near the fireplace.
Outdoor cooking appliances have the potential to cause fires as a result of gas leaks. Make sure your cylinders are in-date and that your equipment’s reasonably new and in good condition,” advises Superintendent Gary Williams, from Fire and Rescue NSW. “Also make sure the hose is relatively new and in good condition, and that you always turn off the gas at the cylinder after you’ve finished cooking. Also, make sure you don’t use outdoor cooking appliances indoors.”
If you can smell gas either outside or inside the home, turn the gas off and contact emergency services for assistance.
When it comes to internal gas appliances, it’s crucial to have the actual gas outlets installed by a licensed gas fitter.
Only buy quality electrical products that are safe and built to standard and that use them in the way they’ve been designed.
Substandard electrical cable represents a ticking time bomb for many unsuspecting households.
If you’ve had any work done on your house in the last five years or if you’ve purchased a home and don’t know its history, get your wiring checked.
Outside your home, overhanging tree branches can pose a safety hazard in windy situations – a branch could break loose and fall on someone. Make sure that if you have trees in your garden, they are trimmed regularly.
Have a look at whether there are any potential missiles (example trampolines) which may pose significant hazards during powerful winds – make sure that they are securely tied down.
Clogged roof gutters can pose a bushfire hazard – they can trigger serious structural failure during a big storm. Make sure that you clean out gutters on a regular basis.
Hopefully the information provided above will assist you to identify some significant safety hazards that are easy to miss at first glance.