Creating a safe environment in your home is vital to make you and everyone who lives or visits your house are safe at all times. While you can eliminate many apparent hazards, some aren’t so obvious, meaning they can be often overlooked. This post looks at some of the ways you can reduce risks to keep everyone safe.
Lock Away Chemicals
The most dangerous materials in your home are chemicals. That’s because they are toxic and can be harmful to humans if not stored safely. Even if you’re keeping them in a basement, garage, or outbuilding, the containers need to be locked and secured from children and pets who might accidentally ingest or come into contact with those chemicals.
Suppose someone does come into contact with a chemical. In that case, it’s essential to know what they could have been exposed to before you call 911, so it’s best to see where all of these dangerous items are located before an emergency arises. This is for the safety of your family, who spends time at home and house guests.
These chemicals should also be placed on high shelves, out of reach from children and pets. You should also label containers clearly, reading: “Danger – Toxic” so visitors know not to touch these products.
Clean your Dryer Vent
One of the most overlooked safety hazards in your home is a dryer vent. When your dryer vent isn’t cleaned regularly, it can get clogged with lint, dust, and debris. The result? Not only will your clothes take longer to dry, or worse, they might not dry at all, but you could be at risk of causing a house fire too.
Over 30,000 dryer fires happen in the US each year. When you don’t clean out your vent, it can cause a fire. To prevent this from happening, make sure to clean your dryer vent twice per year and check the outside of the vent for any signs of clogs. If you are unsure where to start or how best to clean your dryer vents, companies such as https://www.jcs-homeservices.com/northern-virginia-dryer-vent-cleaning/ can assist you in cleaning your vents.
Have Regular Gas Inspections
Gas is used in many homes for heating, cooking, and water heaters. Gas lines need to be inspected periodically to ensure they’re safe. Some gas leaks happen due to external damage or improper installation, so a professional must check the line at least once a year. Contact a professional immediately if you smell gas or notice an unusual smell coming from your water heater.
Remove Candles and Open Flames from Children, Pets, and Flammable Materials.
Candles can be an attractive addition to any room, but they can also be a safety hazard. If you really want to keep your candle lit, consider using a candle holder that is elevated and away from furniture, curtains, and other combustibles. If you’re not able to place it up high due to space constraints, use a candle snuffer instead of blowing out the flame – this will reduce the risk of creating a fire hazard. You should also avoid having candles on tables where children or pets may reach them. Another thing you might not have considered is open flames near flammable materials such as paper. This increases the risk of fire, so keep anything that might be flammable away from an open flame.
Alternatively, opt for flameless LED candles or lights as an alternative to open flames.
Keep Pools and Open Water Areas Covered and Secure
A pool or other open water area can be a hazard if not covered and secured. It’s essential to have a safety fence around the pool or any other open water area to prevent children from accessing the area. This can save your child’s life and prevent accidents.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, drowning is the number one cause of unintentional death among children ages 1-4. Many of these accidents can be prevented by installing a pool fence or a protective device on the door to an open water area. A pool fence should:
- Be at least 4 feet high
- Have no more than 4 inches between slats
- Comply with local building codes
Never leave children around open water unsupervised and invest in a pool cover for when a pool isn’t used to further reduce drowning risk.
Install Smoke Alarms and Carbon Monoxide Monitors
You should have a smoke alarm in every room, including the basement or attic. Upgrading to a new, hardwired system is best as it reduces fire risk due to power outages. If you have a fireplace, install a smoke detector outside the bedroom door or close to your bed inside the room.
Combustion appliances like water heaters and furnaces create carbon monoxide. Install a high-quality CO monitor near the appliance and check it regularly for signs of elevated levels. Carbon Monoxide is colorless and odorless, meaning you won’t know you have a leak until too late.
Remove Trip Hazards
Trip hazards are common safety hazards in your home. They can be hard to identify as you often don’t see them unless you’re looking for them. Ensure all carpets and rugs are away from the room’s edges and not on the floor. If there’s a rug or mat in the middle of the floor, that’s a considerable trip hazard.
Other common trip hazards include throw rugs, shoes, toys, and other objects that you might have lying around. Make sure to sweep up any dirt or debris on your floors, so they don’t create a trip hazard. Also, make sure to put anything heavy back in its place so it doesn’t accidentally fall on someone who may be walking by.
Keep all wires, and cables tied up and secured to avoid the risk of trips, falls, or strangulation, and have the exits and entrances to your home clear at all times. This means that in an emergency, trips and hazards in these areas are reduced, and nothing hinders your way out.