When's the last time you really took a close look at the safety of your home? If it's been over a year, you should think about doing a safety makeover throughout your home. All it take is a little time and a lot of common sense. Here are 10 key ingredients:
- Do a walk-around survey to identify and resolve risks – things like loose window catches and other fittings, slippery floors and rugs, unsecured cabling, floor obstacles and sharp edges.
- Do the same thing around the yard, checking for fall hazards, security of equipment and proper safeguarding around swimming pools.
- Check (and replace if necessary) smoke and carbon monoxide alarms. If you don't have alarms, install at least one on each story of your home.
- Ensure all gas appliance, fires and clothes drier venting is clear.
- Check, restock or buy a good first aid kit. Better yet, have two.
- Make sure all dangerous tools, from kitchen knives to garage equipment, are securely out of the reach of youngsters.
- Have a fire escape plan and share it with everyone in the house.
- Check electrical outlets and appliance cabling for wear and damage.
- Clear out and clean your fridge, replace kitchen cutting boards and cracked pots – all potential sources of food-borne infection.
- And don’t forget, home safety these days also encompasses use of your personal computer. Install internet security software and keep it up to date. Plus, if you have kids, take steps to monitor their usage.
Every year, home-related accidents result in 20,000 deaths and more than 20 million medical visits. Resolve that, in 2012, you and your family won’t be among them. Take the time to discuss safety with them, especially children.