Ideally, we should love our homes because they are a place where we can truly relax. It is also where your family will grow and thrive. But for this to be possible, there needs to be a safe environment. This is so crucial because not only is your family’s safety at stake here, but it can be easy to underestimate the hazards inside your home. Of course, I’m not trying to scare anyone but it never hurts to be safe! Here are a few things you need to remember to check.
Protecting against falls
Injuries from falling are one of the most common ways to hurt yourself in your own home. Spillages, steep stairs, and clutter can all cause falls. Luckily, there are ways to prevent this.
Ensure that staircases aren’t too slippery, with flooring that is in good conditions or a securely-fixed stair runner. If you have small children, make sure you have secure safety gates.
Keep all pathways clear of clutter—with children, toys can be a big problem if there are too many. Teach your kids to clean up after they have finished playing with toys. When they want to play with a toy, a one-in, one-out policy works great. It is also a good idea to keep electronics’ cords organised.
Finally, make sure that there are no wet floors, especially in the bathroom and kitchen. If there is a spillage, be sure to wipe it right away. Put in secure rugs, towels, or non-slip stickers so that bathroom and shower floors aren’t slippery.
Identifying fire hazards
Fire is a serious hazard that everyone should watch out for. The first thing you should do is to make sure your home has fire alarms in all areas. If you do, you’ll need to change the batteries once a year. With the wave of smart home gadgets, there are now smart sensors, such as the Nest Protect, that allow you to monitor from your phone.
If you like to use candles a lot, be sure to never light them near loose cloth like blankets or curtains. Also, place them in areas where they can’t be easily knocked over and always keep an eye on them. Electric candles are a safe substitute that still provides the warm glow and ambiance that real candles have.
Additionally, don’t overuse electric outlets. Instead, purchase one or two power bars with surge protection. This reduces the risk of overloading your outlets and prevents fires. If you hear sizzling, feel the plastic plate is warm, or notice that power is cutting on and off, it’s a sign you might be overloading your outlet.
Checking for carbon monoxide
Carbon monoxide (CO) exposure can lead to headaches, dizziness, nausea, weakness, breathing problems, and even death. It is odour and colourless, making it difficult to detect. This is why it’s so important to have regular CO safety checks.
Install a carbon monoxide detector in your home so that you’ll know if there are any CO leaks. Most detectors plug into any electrical outlet, so it is incredibly easy to install. With a detector, you’ve taken the first step to protection from carbon monoxide.
The next thing you need to do is to check that all appliances that burn gas, oil, or coal are working properly. To be sure, have them serviced by a qualified professional. For example, your gas-powered central heating should be checked by a Gas Safe-registered engineer annually. In particular, boilers are one of the most common sources of carbon monoxide, so it is necessary to have yours inspected regularly.
Preventing cuts, burns, and poisoning
Cuts, burns, and poisoning can be prevented by proper storage. Put dangerous items away in drawers, cabinets, and containers that can’t be easily accessed by your children. Ensure you properly store tools away in their toolboxes, high shelves, and sheds—in particular, never leave garden tools lying around if your kids like to play outside.
Prevent accidental poisoning by storing medicine and chemicals properly. Again, you’ll need to keep these out of sight and reach of your children, either by putting them in a high cupboard or installing safety locks.
Finally, although burns might not seem likely, there are still a few hazards to deal with in your home. For example, activate your dishwasher’s lock to stop your kids opening. The heat and steam from the end of the cycle can cause burns. Additionally, keep matches and lighters hidden away, and place stove knob covers as a safety measure.