Our homes should always be a place of solitude, comfort, and safety. Whether you are a homeowner or a renter, ensuring the safety of your home and family is most likely at the top of your list. This is why it is incredibly important to take care of your home and be aware of potential hazards and dangers.
In addition to decorating and organizing your home, taking proper care of it should also include ensuring that your living space is safe. While it is impossible to prevent all emergencies completely, there are some things you can do to prevent and prepare for them should they arise. Read on to discover our top home safety tips that will help you sleep easy and relax at home knowing you’ve done all you can to keep your family safe.
House Fire Prevention and Safety Tips to Help Keep Your Home Safe
Examine All Electrical Cords and Outlets – It’s vital to regularly check all electrical elements and systems in your home for potential fire hazards. Keep an eye out for any of the following:
● Frayed or Loose Wires
● Ensure No Cords are Running Under rugs or Across Doorways
● Touch Outlets to Feel if They are Warm (they should not be!)
● Examine for a Damaged or Faulty Electrical System
● Never Overload an Outlet
● Avoid Overloading the Electrical System (always follow manufacturer instructions about maximum wattage and requirements)
● Baby Proof Outlets (if you have small children)
Inspect Home Heating – Preventing potential fires, carbon monoxide poisoning and heat burns is essential to the safety of your home. Inspect the following:
● Outside Vents (they should be clear of obstructions and properly sealed, always check following a significant snowfall)
● Inspect Woodburning Stoves and Fireplaces Twice Monthly (ensure the door latch closes properly and the room has a functioning smoke detector)
● Choose the Right Wood (for stoves and fireplaces you want a good supply of dry seasoned wood)
● Hire a Chimney Sweep/Cleaner Regularly
● Inspect your Water Heater Annually
Check Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Detectors – Simply installing these detectors is not enough to ensure the safety of your home.
● Install Detectors Generously Throughout your Home (there should be at least one of each on each floor of your home and should cover all sleeping areas)
● Test Your Alarms Each Month
● Replace the Batteries Once per Year (or sooner if it is ‘chirping’)
● Clean All Detectors regularly
● Ensure All Family Members Know the Difference Between Detector Sounds
Use Fire Extinguishers – Fire extinguishers are an essential element of all home safety equipment. They are relatively inexpensive and can save lives.
● Strategically Place Extinguishers (keep one in the kitchen and on each floor)
● Learn How to Use Them (they aren’t helpful if you don’t know they work in an emergency!)
● Replace them as Necessary
● Consider Installing a Fire Sprinkler System
Establish an Escape Plan – Your family should be well informed about what to do in the case of an emergency. Design an escape plan that includes:
● Two Exit Routes in Case of Fire
● A Meeting Place for all Family Members to Gather
● A Rescue Ladder if Necessary
● Ensure all Family Members Know to Call 9-11 and the Address of the Home
Protect Small Children – Families with young children need to take some additional measures to ensure the safety of the youngest family members. This should include:
● Installing Window Guards on All Windows
● Installing Safety Gates at the Top and Bottom of all Staircases
● Locking up Hazardous Materials (this includes medications, cleaning supplies, and other dangerous materials)
● Keep Knives Out of Reach
● Add Padding on any Furniture with Sharp Corners or Edges
● Install Doorknob Covers on Entry/Exit Doors
● Fence in your Pool
● Teach Children their Address and how to call 9-11
Keep your Pets Safe – Furry family members should also be considered when you ensure the safety of your home.
● Ensure All Food is Locked Away or Out of Reach
● Lock up Your Garbage
● Keep Electrical Cords Away from your Pet
● Ensure Hazardous Materials and Chemicals Aren’t Accessible
● Include your Pets in your Escape Plan
● Make Sure Leashes/Collars and Crates/Carriers are Easily Accessible
When in Doubt – Hire a Professional!
If you have done all of the above and are still concerned about the safety of your home, call in a professional. Home inspectors are experts when it comes to identifying hazards and potential dangers in your home. They are trained to see things that the average homeowner might miss, and can also provide you with a plan for how to improve the safety of your home. If you would like to book a home inspection or receive a free quote.