Safety First: The Ultimate Home Safety Checklist

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April 11, 2017

Safety First: The Ultimate Home Safety Checklist Featured Image

A lot of people tend to think of home safety as protecting your house from intruders. The truth is, even seemingly safe things around your home can accidentally cause injuries if you’re not careful. The Public Health Agency of Canada and the Federal Government’s “Get Prepared” website have a number of excellent suggestions on how to protect your home, which we have conveniently summarized for you in this article.

Below is a checklist to help you spot any potential sources of injury or intruder access, in each part of your home. Keep in mind these are only guidelines and your individual home may have different needs. Anything you respond “no” to should be addressed in order to improve your home’s safety.

Outside

Yes or no:

  • Is there an outdoor light for each entrance to your home?
  • Do exterior stairs, paths, decks, etc. have railings and/or good traction?
  • Are your front steps and walkway free of clutter, snow, and/or leaves?
  • Can you clearly see your house number at night?

Pro tip: If you live outside of an urban area, make sure your mailbox has your name clearly stated on it.

Safety First: The Ultimate Home Safety Checklist First Aid Kit Image

Inside

Yes or no:

  • Do you have good/adequate lighting in all rooms of your home?
  • Do you have adequate lighting in the hallways of your home?
  • Are your mats, rugs and/or floor runners secure?
  • Are high traffic areas of your home free of obstacles?
  • Do you use non-skid floor wax if you wax your floors?
  • Do you maintain a written list of phone numbers in case of an emergency?
  • Do you keep a first aid kit?
  • Do you know where your first aid kit is located?
  • Do you have emergency lighting, and do you know where it is?

Pro tip: Scatter mats and throw rugs can easily cause a trip and fall. Consider removing these from your home.

The Stairs

Yes or no:

  • Do the steps of your stairs have a textured surface to prevent slipping?
  • Are there handrails on both the left and right side of your stairs?
  • Are your stairs free of clutter and objects?
  • Are your stairs in good condition/repair?
  • Do your stairs have adequate lighting?
  • Are there light switches at both the top and bottom of the stairs?

Pro tip: Add a strip of contrasting colour at the edge of the bottom step to help avoid taking a misstep.

Safety First: The Ultimate Home Safety Checklist Fire Alarm Image

Fire and Hazards

Yes or no:

  • Is there a working smoke detector on every floor?
  • Do you test your smoke detectors every six months?
  • Have you established an escape route in case of fire or emergency?
  • Does everyone know your emergency escape plan?
  • Is there a carbon monoxide detector in your house?
  • Are space heaters kept far from flammable materials?
  • Do you use power bars to prevent electrical outlets from being overloaded?
  • Are all hazardous materials clearly identified and safely stored?
  • Have your electrical wiring, fuse box, and appliances been checked for safety?

Pro tip: A great way to ensure that you test your smoke detectors regularly is to do it twice a year when the clocks change.

Bathroom

Yes or no:

  • Is your hot water set to 49°C (120°F) or less?
  • Do you test the water’s temperature before getting into the tub/shower?
  • Is your shower/tub equipped with non-slip surfaces?
  • Do you have/use a nightlight in the bathroom?
  • Does the bathroom door lock have an emergency way to open it from the outside?
  • Are your bath mats secured in place or have rubber backing?
  • Does your shower/tub have grab bars?

Pro tip: Many cleaning products cause surfaces to become more slippery so be extremely careful when cleaning the bathroom.

Kitchen

Yes or no:

  • Are your pots, pans, and/or food stored where you can reach them easily?
  • Do you keep heavier items down low and lighter items up high?
  • Is it easy to tell at a glance whether your stove is on or off?
  • Do you keep oven mitts close to your stove/oven?
  • Do you have a fire extinguisher?
  • Have you checked your fire extinguisher?

Pro tip: Oven mitts are better than potholders for maintaining a solid grip on hot items.

Bedroom

Yes or no:

  • Is it easy to reach a light switch or lamp from your bed?
  • Do you use a night light?
  • Can you easily get to the bathroom without navigating obstacles?
  • Is there a lamp or light switch near the bedroom door?

Even if you’re young and in perfect health, it’s always a good idea to go through your home and make sure your chances of slipping, tripping, or injuring yourself is reduced as much as possible. Even if you’re not concerned about yourself, you never know when you might have visitors who are less physically fit and/or may injure themselves if your home is lacking safety features. Take a few minutes to assess your home and identify ways to make it safer.

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Photo credit: hands, first aid kit, smoke detector




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