Many homeowners fail to realize just how many potential hazards exist around their homes. Fortunately, there are steps you can take to minimize those hazards and keep you and your family safer. With these tips, you can avoid many of the most common hazards in your home.
Tip #1: Install handrails around your stairs and make sure they remain secure.
Having handrails on the stairs can go a long way toward decreasing fall risk and making everyone who lives in or visits your home safer. A loose handrail can actually pose more danger than no handrail at all, since a loose handrail can detach at just the moment when the person on the stairs reaches for it and needs it most.
Install safe, secure handrails on your stairs and test them regularly to ensure that nothing has come loose.
Tip #2: Use non-slip stickers and mats in the bathroom.
Falls in the bathroom can pose substantial danger throughout your home. To keep yourself, guests, and loved ones safe, use stickers to create a non-slip surface in the bathroom. Choose rugs and bath mats that have non-slip surfaces on the bottom to prevent them from sliding out from under foot.
Test out your rugs and mats to make sure that they do not slide when you step on them. You may also want to test them when wet to ensure their stability.
Tip #3: Install grab bars as you or your loved ones grow older.
Installing grab bars in the bathroom can provide a significant level of safety for people in all stages of life. Many people assume that grab bars offer support primarily for elderly or disabled individuals, but you may find that grab bars offer an extra level of safety during pregnancy or when recovering from another type of injury.
Consider decorative grab bars that fit into your bathroom decor to get the safety benefits without sacrificing the overall “look” of your bathroom.
Tip #4: Store cleaning products and medications out of reach of little ones.
Every fifteen seconds, someone reports a poison exposure to the United States Poison Control Center. Often, children get into dangerous cleaning products or medications without parent knowledge. Mere seconds of inattention can give small children enough time to get their hands on dangerous chemicals.
To keep your children or visitors to your home safer, place chemicals and medications in a secure cabinet out of reach. To provide an extra layer of safety, you may want to lock away hazardous or addictive medications, especially if you have friends or family members who have proven less than trustworthy in the past.
Tip #5: Invest in smoke detectors and carbon monoxide alarms.
Smoke kills within a matter of minutes in many household fires. Victims may have little to no warning, especially if a fire occurs in the middle of the night. Properly installed smoke detectors can help notify your family about fire hazards in time to evacuate your family and keep family members safe.
Carbon monoxide can prove even more dangerous: many families do not even notice the presence of carbon monoxide in their homes until they start noticing signs and symptoms of exposure or even death. Investing in smoke detectors and carbon monoxide alarms can go a long way toward keeping your household safer.
Modern technology even includes smart alarms that will connect to your smartphone or other devices, providing alerts about hazards in your home no matter where you travel.
Tip #6: Properly protect your swimming pool and other water sources.
A swimming pool can pose a substantial hazard to little ones in your home, especially if you do not cover it properly. Make sure you cover your pool properly. You can also install a motion detector that will go off if a child or animal-sized item breaks the surface of the water, which can allow you to respond fast enough to rescue someone from drowning.
Many homeowners may also choose to lock away their pools behind fences that other members of the community cannot access, since you may bear legal liability if a child has free access to your pool and is harmed as a result.
Tip #7: Check your appliances ad furniture.
Appliances tipping over can pose a substantial danger to all members of your family. Not only can they cause significant injury if they land on top of you, a dishwasher may dump scalding water all over you and your floor, while a stove that tips over can cause severe burns. Make sure you properly secure all of your appliances.
When using the stove, try to use the back burners, when possible, to help minimize burn risk from tipped or falling pots and pans. Using the back burner can also help prevent burns in small children, who may not realize that they cannot reach up and touch those items. Turn the handles on pots toward the back of the stove when cooking to help reduce the risk of tipping items over. You may also choose to use locks over your burner switches to prevent children from accidentally turning the stove on.
Tip #8: Properly secure heavy furniture to the wall.
Heavy furniture can cause serious injury or death if it falls over, especially on young children or frail or elderly individuals. Unfortunately, many people do not think about securing their furniture. While modern furniture has less bulk than older, more sturdy furniture, it may also lack the stability modern homeowners enjoyed in furniture when they were growing up.
To help reduce the risk of falling furniture and other items, make sure you properly secure your furniture to the wall. Bolts and screws can help keep furniture firmly attached and prevent it from falling over even if young children try to climb on the furniture, which can prevent both injuries and broken items.
Many of our clients want to know how to keep themselves safe in their own homes, or when they visit friends and loved ones.
With these tips, we hope you can help make your home a safer, more welcoming place for yourself, your guests, and your children.
Brauns Law, P.C.
3175 Satellite Boulevard, Bldg 600
Duluth, GA 30096