Our homes are our haven, but they also contain chemicals, fire starters, and harmful substances that can easily injure someone if proper precautions are overlooked. Asbestos and lead are typical home hazards in older structures, but even newer homes have their fair share of potential safety hazards, including slippery floors and electrical issues. Here are some home safety tips for every room…
Many of these issues can be avoided altogether to guarantee your family’s safety with a bit of maintenance and basic home safety preventatives, which I’ll address later in this guide. From installing smoke detectors to mounting fire extinguishers and flood sensors, adopting a proactive approach to home safety is vital for you and your family’s well-being.
This guide will explore comprehensive home safety tips tailored for each room, offering you practical insights and measures to ensure a comfortable living space. Read on!
Safety Tips for Each Room In a Home
When you arrive home at the end of the day, all you want to do is relax. However, maintaining a peaceful atmosphere entails much more than simply putting your feet up. Ready to discover where you can improve safety in your home? Let’s begin!
Your bedroom should be free of hazards because you spend much of your life there. Here’s what to do to make your bedroom safe:
- Window and door locks: This seems simple, yet burglars usually enter homes through open windows or unlocked doors. Besides, kids tend to fall out of windows, so it would be better to install window locks to prevent such incidents. If your home already has solid door locks, normalize locking the door even if you’re going to visit your next-door neighbor.
- Fire escape ladders: We spend one-third of the day sleeping, so you’re likely to be in your bedroom in case a fire breaks out. If you’re on the ground floor, you can evacuate through the window, but if you want to climb down from a second-story bedroom, a fire escape ladder will come to the rescue.
- Valuables: Most people keep heirlooms, jewelry, and other prized possessions in the bedroom. Instead of stashing cash and other value-minded items beneath the mattress, invest in a safe to secure your valuable items.
- Fire safety: Have a working smoke detector in your bedroom to alert you to dangerous levels of smoke at home.
- Secure furniture: Make sure dressers and other furniture are securely anchored to avoid accidents, and use nightlights to avoid trips and falls at night.
The kitchen acts as the heart of the home. Who doesn’t like sneaking a spoonful of cookie dough? However, all the yummy smells and tastes require things such as hot surfaces, sharp knives, and heavy appliances to prepare them. Here’s what you should consider to make your kitchen safe:
- Fire extinguishers: Even seasoned cooks can have flare-ups, so it makes sense to mount a fire extinguisher in the kitchen to extinguish a fire during an emergency. Not all fire extinguishers can smother kitchen fires, so be sure to select one that’s rated for kitchen fires. Additionally, install smoke alarms near the kitchen to minimize fire-related injuries. Please get in the habit of testing the smoke alarm monthly to ensure it’s working.
- Cooking safety: Whether or not you have kids, pots and pans must always be supervised. Grease fires are the main culprits of kitchen fires, so don’t leave a pan unsupervised when frying fat. If you must leave the kitchen, turn off the stove and remove pans from hot burners. Alternatively, you can set the fire to the lowest setting. You should also keep children away from the kitchen area.
- Keep knives out of reach: Ensure all knives are out of reach and are adequately secured whether or not they are in use. Develop the habit of putting knives on a flat, clutter-free surface to keep them from falling accidentally. When carrying knives, keep the cutting edge away from your body, and don’t carry them when there’s commotion in the kitchen.
- Monitor children around hot objects: Whether it’s a bowl of soup or a pot of boiling water, kids must always be closely monitored around hot objects. Consider creating an off-limits area, which includes any hot appliance like a fireplace or barbecue.
- Keep heavy items near the floor: When arranging your kitchen, put bulky items like skillets in lower cabinets. Doing so prevents heavy objects from falling on your head.
- Baby proofing: Kitchen cabinets are filled with poisonous chemicals and hinges that can pinch. Use a baby gate to keep kids from being injured in the kitchen, or install solid door and drawer locks so your children can’t come into contact with anything harmful.
The place where you clean yourself can be dangerous. Every year, many people visit hospitals due to injuries sustained in bathrooms, including falls and near-drowning. Here are some ideas for improving bathroom safety and keeping it a safe haven:
- Flood sensors: The bathroom has a lot of water elements, which is why it is a leading source of flooding. Noticing a leaky pipe or massive burst before it worsens will save you time and money. That’s where flood sensors come in handy. Most are outfitted with smart technology, meaning you’ll receive an alert on your smartphone if it detects water.
- Bath mats: We are all vulnerable to slipping on wet surfaces, but older adults are more susceptible. The fix? Use non-slip mats in the bathtub and shower. The more traction you can get in the bathroom, the better. Moreover, install grab bars near the toilet and in the shower.
- Temperature control: Avoid scalding by setting the water heater to an appropriate temperature and test the water temperature before bathing.
- Tub Safety: Your kid’s bathtime is for cleaning thoroughly, splashing, and playing, but it must always be supervised. Children can drown in no time in as little as three inches of standing water. So, if you’re filling up or draining the tub, remain in the bathroom until it’s empty.
Most households do multiple loads of laundry weekly, which denotes the essence of making the laundry room a safe place by considering the following hazards:
- Dryer lint: Neglecting to clean dryers is the leading cause of fires involving this basic appliance. Avoid dryer and house fires by cleaning your dryer lint from the trap after using it. Also, examine the dryer vent for lint buildup monthly.
- Water hook-ups: Your washer’s water supply and drainage pipe can dump lots of water on the floor in case of a problem during a wash cycle. A small amount of water is enough to damage your home. Make it a habit to inspect your water hook-ups every month to avoid a flood worthy of an ark. Also, consider smart washers and dryers that support remote monitoring through your smartphone so you’ll know immediately if there’s an issue.
Whether your basement is a habitable space or rough around the edges, consider the tips below for overall household safety.
- Flood prevention and remediation: Basements attract moisture and flooding. Whether a pipe bursts or a storm passes through, your basement can quickly become flooded. There are numerous flood prevention measures for stopping floods from occurring in the first place. This includes using a water leak sensor to detect leaks before they become a catastrophe. If your home floods, use DIY flood remediation techniques to help you get by before flood specialists arrive.
- Storage areas: Basements act as a stockpiling station for your excess possessions. If your basement features shelving for storage, consider the weight limits to prevent your stuff from crashing down onto your head.
A garage stores valuable items, including cars, lawnmowers, and more. Here are some things to watch out for and protect in your garage:
- Hazardous and flammable materials: If you must have hazardous materials like outdoor cleaning products and car fluids on hand, put them on high shelves away from inquisitive kids and direct heat sources.
- Garage security: Most homeowners disregard garage doors regarding home safety and security, but a garage is an enticing target for opportunistic thieves. Fortunately, these helpful tricks can protect you:
- Close the garage when not around to keep your valuables safe from prying eyes.
- Install a garage door opener with a locking feature.
- If you don’t have a garage, buy a steering wheel lock or car alarm.
- Carbon monoxide safety: Never leave your car or gas-powered tools running in the garage. Carbon monoxide can accumulate to toxic levels even with the garage door open because of insufficient airflow to push it outside.
After optimizing your home’s interior for increased safety, integrate the following outdoor tips for a truly secure home:
- Security cameras: If someone moves furtively around your home, you’ll want to be informed about it. That’s where security cameras come into play. Install one security camera on the porch to monitor packages and mail, one in the living room to monitor kids, and others around the perimeter to monitor criminal activity.
- Smart locks: Have you ever left your house and forgot to lock the door? You’re not alone; it happens to most of us, even when we’re home. Smart locks help you lock up with your smartphone. If you have kids who come home from school before you arrive from work, smart locks can make your life easier. Smart locks also keep track of when doors are opened, allowing you to see if anything unusual is going on in your home.
Apart from smart locks, consider installing a deadbolt protector. Most burglars know how to pick your locks, even pick-proof deadbolts. One way to add an extra layer of security to your main doors is by adding a deadbolt protector. This tool slides a lock over your deadbolt to secure it.
- Smart doorbells: Smart doorbells are an excellent complement to smart locks. They provide live streaming video of your porch with two-way communication and a security camera. If a guest can’t get in, you can confirm their presence and decide whether or not to let them in. Also, if a package theft occurs, you’ll have video evidence.
The living room is where you can gather with family and friends. It’s usually a more public space, so you want it to be as safe as possible to avoid accidents. Here’s how to make your living a safe environment:
- Electrical safety: Examine cords for fraying and replace damaged ones to deter electrical fires. What’s more? Avoid overloading outlets and use surge protectors to protect your expensive equipment against surges triggered by electrical storms, lightning strikes, and other sources of voltage spikes.
- Furniture arrangement: Heavy furniture should be secured to the wall to avoid tumbling. Also, declutter the sitting to make movement easier.
- Childproofing: Keep all objects that could be choking hazards out of reach and use safety plugs for electrical outlets.
- Keep floors dry to deter accidental falls: Taking a tumble on a rug can be something to laugh about when interacting with friends about a clumsy accident. However, a clumsy accident can quickly become a serious injury, so it would help to protect occupants from falling and save the jokes for another time. Falls are hazardous for aged individuals and for young kids.
One way of preventing falls is removing loose throw rugs or securing them to the floor so that a toe won’t catch on the edge. Also, clean up spills promptly in areas where hard surfaces are more likely to trigger injury in the event of a fall than on carpeted surfaces.
During an emergency, it is much easier to look to a predetermined course of action than it is to find out what to do at the moment when hearts are beating rapidly and adrenaline is surging. All the household members should devise an emergency plan, which should be the default course of action.
The Most Common Home Safety Hazards
It is crucial to identify and address common home safety hazards to maintain a secure living space. Given below are some of the most common home safety hazards:
- Asbestos in Older Homes
You’ll find asbestos in different places within homes built before 1978. It’s common in the insulation on old boilers and pipes. Asbestos is usually not of concern if left alone, but sledgehammering through asbestos-containing material during home renovations releases tiny asbestos particles into the air. Long-term exposure to these particles increases the risk of developing mesothelioma, a type of asbestos-triggered cancer.
- Lead Paint Problems
Some house paints manufactured in the late 1970’s contain lead. If absorbed into the bloodstream, lead can cause poisoning, behavioral issues, and health complications, particularly for kids.
- Electrical Fire Hazards
While electrical fires are frequently associated with faulty wiring, they can occur even in newer homes if items plugged into outlets have damaged cords. All electrical cords with worn insulation are potential electrical fire hazards if exposed wires are visible.
Extension Cords are also dangerous, primarily if a device that draws high current, like an air conditioner, is plugged into an inappropriate extension cord. Home fires can also start within the breaker box or elsewhere due to overloaded circuits.
Christmas trees with old incandescent lights are also a major culprit for home fires every holiday season. The bulbs get too hot and eventually ignite the dried-out Christmas tree branches.
Dried-out pine ignites easily, leading to a fire that could quickly be uncontrollable. For this reason, we recommend newer LED bulbs that don’t become so hot.
- Electrical Shock Hazards
Electrical shock in homes happens for various reasons. An outlet without a cover is a shock hazard if the naked wires attached to the outlet are mistakenly touched. You can avoid this by covering all outlets.
Outlets next to water sources, like near the tub or kitchen sink, should feature ground-fault circuit-interrupting or GFCI protection. These serve as regular outlets with a very critical safety feature added.
If an issue arises, like dropping an in-use hair dryer into a sink filled with water, the GFCI disconnects the power to the outlet to avoid severe shock.
Curious kids are sometimes tempted to squeeze small things into electrical outlets. If they use metal, like a fork, a shock could transpire. You can keep kids safe by placing childproof safety caps over all unused outlets. If you install new outlets, ensure they are tamper-resistant.
- Slipping or Tripping
While it’s obvious that a wet, smooth floor is slippery, the water left after a floor is washed isn’t always apparent until it’s too late. Consider slightly textured floors for bathrooms with a tub or shower. If replacing a floor is impractical, place slip-proof rugs in water-prone areas, like inside the main entry points to your house.
- Carbon Monoxide Danger
Carbon monoxide is an odorless gas produced by improperly maintained, installed, or used fuel-burning appliances, back-drafting appliances, or fireplaces. All these are generally not a cause of concern if properly vented.
If there’s a problem, excessive carbon monoxide enters the home, causing carbon monoxide poisoning, which triggers confusion, headache, dizziness, loss of consciousness, and even death.
Install carbon monoxide alarms in all sleeping areas of your home, just as you would for smoke alarms. Many jurisdictions demand the installation of both a smoke detector and a carbon monoxide detector.
If using a battery-powered unit, change the batteries annually or whenever the unit indicates the battery’s power is low. Some carbon monoxide alarms have non-replaceable 10-year batteries.
- Natural Gas Leaks
Unlike a carbon monoxide leak, a natural gas leak is detectable due to the presence of an additive called mercaptan that has an odor. This added scent is a warning sign because a natural gas leak poses a high fire risk in the home.
If you smell an unusual odor near gas appliances or anywhere in the house or hear a hissing sound where the appliance is linked to the gas line, there might be a gas leak. If this happens, contact the gas company, but only once you are safely outdoors because a cellphone could trigger a spark.
- Kitchen Fires
A kitchen fire ranks as one of the biggest household hazards. Monitor meals when cooking, particularly when using the stove. Ensure flammable items like cloth towels are far from burners. You’ll also want to use splatter guards if cooking with grease because hot grease could trigger a fire.
It’s advisable to set a timer when cooking, so if you have to leave the room for a while, you won’t get distracted and forget about that meal on the stove.
Most importantly, keep a charged ABC fire extinguisher nearby. Never sprinkle water on a grease fire; instead, put a cookie sheet over the burning item and switch off the stove.
- Tipping Top-Heavy Furniture
Tall furniture, like bookcases or narrow dressers, can pose a serious hazard in homes with children. Children’s natural curiosity and inclination to climb things make this furniture vulnerable to tipping over. It’s best to anchor these pieces of furniture to the wall if you think they might tip over or if a child attempts to climb or explore.
Additionally, exercise caution when placing heavy objects, such as a TV, atop any tall furniture that can wobble if accidentally tugged by a young child. To further minimize risks, avoid purchasing top-heavy pieces if children are in the home.
- Cords in Curtains or Blinds
Cords used to open, close, and adjust window blinds or curtains can be dangerous to kids. Cord loops, in particular, are hazardous because the child’s head can be trapped as the loop twists around the child’s neck, resulting in entanglement and strangulation. To mitigate such risks, replace window coverings with blind cords with cordless alternatives.
If you must use corded window coverings, take precautions to keep the cords out of your child’s reach. Make sure cribs or toddler beds are far from windows that have dangerous coverings. This is vital for protecting young kids and deterring accidents related to window-covering cords.
Home Safety Tips for Every Room
With our fast-paced lifestyles, we yearn for more ease and positive well-being and seek ways to integrate wellness into our minds and, most importantly, our daily lives.
Every homeowner and renters alike dreams of creating a haven within the walls of their home.
From the kitchen to the laundry room and every space in between, knowing home safety tips for every room is crucial for protecting your property and the well-being of you and your loved ones.
Home safety tips include maintaining a dry floor, installing a smoke detector near the kitchen and bedroom, anchoring heavy furniture to the wall in the living room, and using non-slip mats in the bathroom, among others.