Did you know there is a National Safe at Home Week? Me neither… as least until a couple days ago. Some pretty smart people thought it wise to set aside some time to address the safety of our abode. So August 26th-30, 2013 is this years week to check your home and make improvements. Thus, we have a few home safety tips for you.
In light of this mostly unknown celebration we gathered lots of ideas on what to look for around the home that could post a hazard to kids and adults alike. Below are some the safe at home week ideas:
Home Safety Checklist
- Are You Alarmed: Install smoke detectors on every floor of your home and if you have natural gas driven appliances install carbon monoxide near sleeping areas. If already installed, test them! Tip: Replace the batteries every daylight-saving time change.
- Check Extension Cords & : Check for overloaded extension cords-usage should not exceed the recommended wattage. Most firemen will tell you extension cords Here is an article about a fire caused by over loaded cords and some curative actions.
- I Hate it When the Bookshelf Falls on Me: If young children are in the home, bookshelves and other tip-able furniture should be secured. This includes your oven and places like Home Depot sell anti-tip devices just for ovens.
- Kids are Curious Little Things: Check your local library or look online for complete lists of childproofing suggestions. The top areas of concern are access to chemicals, electrical access points, stairs and water sources over an inch deep.
- Check the Grounds: All major appliances should be grounded. Be sure to check your ground fault circuit interrupters regularly.
- Plan Your Escape: Practice a fire escape plan with your family where you identify two exits for every room and what to do with young children.
- Fire Extinguishers are Your Friend: Place all-purpose fire extinguishers in key locations in your home—the kitchen is a must and one in the hallway by the bedrooms is a good idea. Be sure to check expiration dates regularly and know how to use them safely.
- Do your doors latch shut and lock? This sounds pretty silly but as real estate guys we see a lot of homes where the doors don’t close and lock. Thus, we felt the need to mention.
- Create a Safe Exit: In addition to alarms and extinguishers, consider an escape ladder if your home has two floors. Keep emergency numbers and contacts readily available in a place all know. This used to be by the phone but most of us do not have a home phone any more; so where is your spot?
- Unplug Appliances and Shut off Water When Traveling: Unplug appliances and electronics and turn off non-landscape/pool water sources.
- Don’t’ Get Burned: Set your water heater below 120 degrees Fahrenheit to avoid potential burns and to save energy.
- Pools & Spas are in a category of their own. We’re not going to write much here as there is a bevy of pool safety info out there. Check it out and check your pool and spa.
One other web site we found suggested a pretty interesting exercise. Below is part of the exercise. Naturally, you would continue the process throughout the home. Here is what they suggest:
Let’s do a little exercise. Close your eyes. Imagine you are waking through your house. You open the front door. Wait, are those extension cords still plugged in from the Christmas season? You should unplug it, they could be a fire hazard. As you proceed to walk into your foyer, be sure not to trip on the corner of the entry rug! Tape it down instead, to prevent any future possibility of falling on account of that rug. Proceed into the next room, the family room.
Ouch! Did you just step on a Lego, or your daughter’s doll? Be sure you or your children clean up after themselves. There is no excuse for having dangerous or painful objects impeding your walkway. Also, while in the family room, check the outlet covers–the baby is three years old and curious, you don’t want her shoving a metal object in the wall plugs!
We hope you have a great National Safe at Home week later this month. We’re reminded of that old cop show Hill Street Blues where the captain ended his talk saying… let’s be careful out there.
Gene Urban & Ron Urban
The Urban Team at Realty Executives
connecting people to the perfect place for over 20 years