We all think that we’re safe in our homes, but how sure are we that we’ve covered all the bases? In the United States, a house burglary happens every 15 seconds. This equates to nearly 4,800 burglaries each day.
If you are unsure whether your current alarm system is up to date and provides you with adequate security – or you don’t have an alarm system – we recommend you check out Alarm Grid security to buy or enhance your current system.
While safeguarding yourself and your family against a home invasion is an important element of home security, there are a variety of additional threats you may encounter that have nothing to do with an intruder.
Poisoning, suffocation, fires, choking, burns, falls, and drowning are the top most lethal household injuries in the United States. So what can you do to ensure that your family is secure at home? We’ve compiled a complete home safety checklist to help you assess the security and threats in your house.
You should perform a full home safety inspection a few times a year. On the other hand, these five concerns should be on our minds every day.
- Keep a fully stocked first-aid kit in the house and each vehicle, and replenish supplies as needed.
- Firearms should always be stored in a gun safe, with the keys away from youngsters. You should also store ammunition carefully and separately.
- In case of an emergency at night, each bed should have a flashlight within reach. Replace batteries every two years and ensure the flashlight is in good operating order.
- Clean and declutter regularly to avoid mildew, mold, dust, and bug infestations, as all are dangerous to your health. Cleaning practices help you discover potential problems early on, such as symptoms of water leaks or new building fractures.
- Keep emergency contact numbers ready on the refrigerator, programmed into all phones, and in the car, including physicians, pharmacists, and close family members. Make sure your children, even the smallest ones, know how to dial 911.
Now that you know what to look at daily, let’s look into your monthly safety checks.
Water Safety and Flood Prevention
Small leaks within your house, whether in the roof or the pipes, can cause serious damage if not detected and addressed promptly.
- Locate your home’s main water valve and test it regularly.
- Keep it operational in the event of an emergency. Clear the space surrounding it of debris and obstructions.
- Look for water stains on all ceilings and walls, specifically on basement walls and areas along the roofline.
- To avoid scalds and save money, set your water heater to 120 degrees or lower.
- Inspect your dishwasher and washing machines for general wear and tear, and replace any broken or defective parts.
- Keep all electronics away from bathtubs.
- When you leave your house for an extended time, turn off the water.
- If cold weather is expected while you’re gone, winterize your pipes.
- Inspect toilets thoroughly for symptoms of cracks, leaks, or broken components.
- Swimming pools should be enclosed and guarded at all times.
Learn how to utilize fire alarms, detectors, and household fire extinguishers. Contact your local fire department if you have any issues, want installation assistance, or cannot afford essential equipment. Most communities have programs to guarantee that everyone is protected from fire.
- Install smoke detectors and remember to test them at least once a month.
- When Daylight Savings Time starts, replace the smoke alarm batteries.
- Make an emergency escape plan with your family and practice it.
- Remove any debris, impediments, and tripping risks out of your emergency escape routes and exits.
- Make sure fire extinguishers are available, serviced annually, in good working condition, and that everyone understands how to use them safely.
- Clear away neighboring exterior clutter and maintain your heaters and furnaces.
- Ensure all electrical equipment is grounded, insulated, and serviced according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
- Inspect wiring, electrical outlets, and all appliance cords for damage and, if required, replace them.
- Hire a professional to clean your chimney and vents annually.
- Consider installing fire ladders in upstairs bedrooms for a speedy escape.
- Your house number should be visible from the street, and well-lit at night.
Everyone falls, but the youngest and oldest family members are the most vulnerable. A detailed fall prevention checklist for elderly family members is available from AARP.
- Declutter all areas, particularly hallways.
- Remove tiny rugs or use non-skid tape to fasten them.
- Ensure that wet or dry bare floors and stairs are not slippery, and install or replace non-slip treads.
- Make sure all stair handrails are secure and tight.
- Install grab bars next to toilets, baths, and showers, and ensure they’re tightly fixed.
- In each bathroom and bathtub, place non-slip mats.
- Install adequate night lights to illuminate routes to bathrooms and fire exits securely, and replace bulbs as needed.
- Replace any wobbly door thresholds, and adopt flat designs if possible.
- If you have little children, make sure all windows are closed and have stops installed to prevent them from opening more than five inches.
- Ensure exterior lighting illuminates all steps and pathways enough to avoid falls and deter intruders.
Household cleaning solutions, insecticides, and any other poisonous substances should be appropriately labeled, kept out of children’s reach, and not expired.
- Chemicals should never be mixed or stored in food storage containers.
- Check product labels for proper disposal and cleaning instructions for if they spill.
- Prescription medications should be labeled, stored carefully, kept away from children’s reach, and destroyed when they expire.
- Keep flammable liquids away from sources of heat.
- Poison Control Centers get more than two million calls on their hotline each year. Keep the phone number for your local poison control center ready.
Stay Safe, Stay Healthy
This simple safety checklist can help you get acquainted with your new surroundings and identify potential issues if you’ve recently relocated. Check for seasonal dangers such as frozen walks in the winter, pool safety in the summer, and slick walkways caused by fallen leaves. It’s also a good idea to regularly test your home security system to ensure that it’s in excellent operating order.
Making your basic home safety checklist part of your family’s daily routine is a terrific way to improve your family’s awareness of any possible risks in their environment, allowing them to stay safer at home and elsewhere.