There’s no place like home. We all do what we can to make our home comfortable and inviting. Since we spend so much time there, however, it’s easy to let our guard down and ignore some important aspects of home safety.
Many accidents and injuries that occur in the home are very preventable. Here are a few home safety tips everyone should know.
13 Simple Home Safety Tips
1. Check Smoke Detectors
If your smoke detectors are battery-operated, make sure to check and replace the batteries regularly. It’s a good idea to check the batteries once a month and to replace them once or twice a year. Even if your smoke detectors are hard-wired, you should still check the backup batteries frequently. Another fire safety tip is to make sure you have a fire extinguisher within easy reach and that you know how to use it!
2. Install Carbon Monoxide Detectors
While most people have several smoke detectors in their home, many neglect to install carbon monoxide detectors. As a general rule, you should have one on each floor of your house, including the basement.
3. Remove Throw Rugs or Use Non-Stick Pads
Throw rugs can be a major tripping hazard. It’s safest to get rid of them entirely. However, if you wish to keep them, make sure that you use something to keep the edges down and to keep them from slipping. A non-stick pad or a roll of carpet tape will usually do the trick.
4. Check for Loose Wires or Cords on the Floor.
It’s easy to lose your balance if your feet become tangled in loose wires. Make sure that wires and cords remain out of the way. In addition to being a fall risk, too many wires and cords can also be an electrical fire hazard.
5. Use Nightlights
It’s much easier to fall in the dark, especially if you find yourself walking around when you’re not fully awake. Installing nightlights in hallways, stairs, the bathroom, and any other location you’re likely to wander to at night can greatly reduce the risk of falling.
6. Smart Storage
Store things that you use frequently in easily accessible locations. That way you won’t have to climb or bend over to get them. This is especially important if you have trouble maintaining your balance. You can use a grabbing tool or ask for help if you need to reach anything stored up high. If you must get it yourself, use a sturdy step stool. Never climb on counters or put yourself in any sort of precarious position to get something that’s out of reach.
It’s easy to see why many falls occur in the bathroom. Bathroom surfaces are smooth and get wet and slippery on occasion. Follow these tips to minimize the risk of falling in your bathroom.
7. Use Rubber Mats in the Shower
Using a rubber mat or installing non-slip strips on the floor makes it much easier to avoid slipping in the tub or shower. For added safety, use a shower chair so that you can sit down if needed.
8. Use a Non-slip Bath Mat
Like throw rugs, bathmats can easily slide across the floor, throwing you off balance. Make sure that the bath mat you choose has a non-slip backing to prevent this from happening.
9. Install Handrails
Handrails in the tub or shower and next to the toilet will give you more stability in the areas of the bathroom where falls are the most common.
Not only is it easier to fall on the stairs, but you’re more likely to suffer a more serious injury if it happens. If your home has stairs (including basement stairs), keep them as safe as possible by doing the following things.
10. Check the Carpeting
If the carpeting on the stairs is loose or has begun to come up, it’s much easier to be thrown off balance. You should make sure that any carpeting is firmly attached.
11. Use Skid Resistant Pads
It’s easy to slip going up or down uncarpeted stairs. Skid resistant pads give you added traction. It’s also wise to avoid going up and down the stairs in your stocking feet since shoes also minimize the risk of slipping.
12. Use Handrails
It only takes a split second to lose your balance. Installing, and using, handrails on both sides of your staircase gives you added stability.
13. Don’t Store Anything on the Stairs
Clutter on the floor is a tripping hazard anywhere in the house, but it’s especially dangerous on the stairs. Avoid the temptation to stash things on the steps.
Home safety doesn’t have to be complicated or expensive. Taking a few simple preventive steps can make your home as safe as it can be.
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