Keeping your home safe and secure for years can often seem overwhelming. A home safety checklist can be useful for those looking to keep their homes protected and retain their value.
A home safety checklist is a list of tasks to help ensure the safety and security of your home. It's important for homeowners to identify safety hazards, reduce risks, and flag any necessary repairs.
Home safety tips will largely depend on the home itself, the occupants, and its location. Identifying broad areas that could be useful for your home safety checklist is the first step. You can add items specific to your home depending on what is needed.
A home safety checklist should cover fire safety, electric safety, home security, first-aid, child safety, senior safety, and outdoor safety.
Fire safety is essential in helping homeowners identify potential hazards and mitigate risks. Fires can cause serious damage to property and threaten the safety and well-being of those living in the home.
Fire safety measures include:
- Regularly check smoke alarms
- Check fire extinguishers
- Identify potential fire hazards
- Install and maintain sprinklers
- Place barriers around fireplaces
- Install fire-resistant materials in the home, including windows, doors, and roofing materials
- Check electrical systems and appliances, being careful not to overload electrical outlets
Another essential part of the home safety checklist is electrical safety. Faulty wiring and electrical systems can wreak havoc on a home. They can seriously threaten those living in the house and the house itself. Having electrical safety as part of your home safety checklist can protect you and your home from harm.
- Check outlets, electrical cords, and appliances for damage such as frayed wires and damaged cables. Consider items such as water heaters, stovetops, and space heaters.
- Check smoke detectors, carbon monoxide detectors, and fire extinguishers.
- Install ground fault circuit interrupters (GFCIs) in areas where there is water. GFCIs can prevent electrical shocks in wet or damp conditions.
- Have your home inspected and cleared for electrical safety against building codes and safety standards.
Keeping your home secure isn’t just about what happens inside the house but what is happening outside your home. Keeping your home safe from burglaries, thefts, and home intrusions is vital. Your home security checklist should include:
- Check locks to make sure they are functioning and not easily tampered with.
- Install and maintain security systems, including cameras, alarms, and motion detectors around the perimeter of the home.
- Keep entry points well-lit with appropriate and adequate lighting.
First-Aid and Emergency Safety
First aid and emergency preparedness are crucial components of any homeowner's safety plan to keep occupants in the home protected. Have items on hand to treat injuries before emergency services arrive.
- Create an escape plan in case of home emergencies.
- Keep emergency contact information at hand, such as emergency services, poison control, family members, and neighbors.
- Keep first-aid items in the home to treat minor injuries, such as bandages, gauze pads, antiseptic wipes, and ointments.
- Stock up on emergency supplies in case of natural disasters and power outages. Consider items such as flashlights, batteries, a portable radio, and a supply of food and water.
A large part of caring for children is keeping their home safe. Children have unique needs, and your home safety checklist should reflect that. You'll need to consider what items to keep out of reach of children so that they can stay safe, including:
- Secure cabinets and drawers with safety latches and childproof locks. Prioritize those that store items like cleaning products and kitchen utensils.
- Install window guards, childproof locks, doorknob covers on doors, and safety gates at the tops and bottoms of stairways.
- Remove tripping hazards such as loose rugs or exposed wires, and place covers on unused electrical outlets.
- Keep dangerous items such as sharp objects or cleaning supplies away from reach.
- Keep a first-aid kit ready and available.
If you or a relative are seniors, there are special considerations you'll want when it comes to home safety. Consider these additions to your home, including:
- Install grab bars and no-sips mats in the bathroom and shower to prevent falls.
- Remove obstacles such as rugs that could encourage tripping.
- Keep stairways well-lit with secure handrails.
Home safety should also include outdoor protection, which is where an outdoor safety checklist can come in handy. The amount of work will depend on the size of your yard and the types of amenities you have available. Your outdoor safety checklist should include:
- Regularly inspect walkways, driveways, and outdoor stairs. Ensure they are in good condition and free of any cracks or other hazards.
- Remove any tripping hazards such as toys, equipment, or decorative items to minimize risks of falling or accidents.
- Keep outdoor areas well-lit by installing outdoor lighting fixtures or replacing bulbs in existing fixtures.
- Secure outdoor furniture to prevent damage from severe weather.
- If you store a spare key, consider getting a combination lock or avoid predictable hiding places.
- Keep swimming pools covered when not in use.
- Ensure outdoor play toys such as swing sets and trampolines are only used with permission and adult supervision.
Going through each section of the home safety checklist will assist in keeping your family safe throughout the year. Be sure to use this as a guide and add items that may be unique to your home and family situation.