Household accidents cost time, money, and suffering. From burns to falls, break-ins to credit fraud, it can feel overwhelming to protect your home and family.
In this article, we’ll cover some top tips to keep your home and family safe. In this article, we’ll cover some top tips to prevent household accidents. The good news is that you’re probably already doing most of these – and many of the fixes are low-maintenance and low-cost.
Parents often think of the stove or oven when they think of fire hazards (we’ve all heard the Thanksgiving turkey mishap stories!), but forgetting to maintain fire prevention measures in the home is just as dangerous.
Fire Extinguishers & Smoke Alarms
Since people rarely need to put out a fire in their home, many homeowners forget where their fire extinguisher is, and it ends up buried in the back of a closet or cupboard. Fire extinguishers need to be replaced about every 12 years, and often need recharging as soon as six years. Be sure that your extinguishers are ready to go and that your family knows where it is and how to use them.
Smoke alarms should be replaced after 10 years. Keep batteries on hand and replace them once a year. It’s best to test them once a month – it’s a great opportunity to do a family fire drill! Set up a meeting place and practice getting out of the house quickly so that kids will know what to do in case of an emergency.
Candles are fun for mood lighting, but they are also a fire hazard. Never leave a candle unattended! For safer mood lighting, consider switching to softer light bulbs and dimmer switches. Color-changing LED bulbs are a fun option – some can be controlled by an app that lets you customize the lighting in your room with just the touch of a button.
Electrical wiring is encased with a plastic or silicone coating to prevent fires, but that coating wears off over time. Electric codes also change over time, so many older homes may already have outdated and unsafe wiring. If your circuit breakers trip regularly, your lights flicker, or you hear a buzzing sound by your outlets, you should have your wiring professionally checked. Need a recommendation for a good electrician in the area? Give us a call!
Homes are filled with hazards for curious little ones― washing machines, driers, water heaters, and even daily toy messes can lead to serious injury. Here are a few simple ways to keep kids safe!
Appliances are everywhere, and kids love to help grownups with laundry and cooking. Make sure the washer and dryer are in their own enclosed space and that the doors are sturdy. Help your children know that the laundry room isn’t a place to play or hide. In the kitchen, simple tools like burner locks ensure that little chefs don’t start cooking on their own. There are also locks to ensure that oven doors can’t open either.
Tripping over toys is another leading cause of falls― bumped heads, sprained ankles, and avoidable tears. Keep walkways clean by confining toys to bedrooms or toy rooms. Encourage cleanliness by installing low shelves or get kid-friendly storage containers!
Lamps and Sockets
Most parents know that electrical sockets need to be covered – it’s childproofing 101. But what is there to do with the outlets in use? Most homes use lamps in one form or another. They’re great for adding a little extra light in a dark corner and for giving soft light in calm spaces, like a child’s bedroom. To childproof a floor lamp, place it behind a large piece of furniture so that it can’t be pulled over. For table lamps, make sure it’s out of reach up high and that the cord is inaccessible.
Prevent Trips and Falls
Falls are the leading cause of injury worldwide in adults over 60 years old. Although falls are most serious for the elderly, all ages are at risk of injury from falls. Every homeowner should review common fall zones to protect family and guests.
Make sure that all stairways have a banister for support. A sturdy banister can be the difference between a simple slip and a broken leg. Ensure that all banisters are secure and won’t pull away from the wall when yanked on.
Simple stair lights help you see where you’re going, even when the overhead lights are off. Installing them can be a large or small project – it just depends on your budget and willingness to DIY. LED strip lights and motion-sensing stick-on battery lights are easy beginner projects that will make your stairway safer. You can also hire a contractor to hardwire lights to a switch if you don’t want to worry about replacing batteries.
Loose Carpets or Rugs
Loose flooring is another common tripper― whether it’s your kindergartener running at full speed or your partner with a tall load of laundry, rugs should not get in the way. If you notice your carpet is pulling up at the edges, contact a professional to help reinstall it or find a DIY method. Only use rugs with flat edges and avoid ones that curl upwards.
Safeguard Personal Information
From hackers to natural disasters, it’s essential to keep personal information safe. Here’s some basics:
Be sure to keep security software updated, so you have the best protection possible. Update your passwords regularly and avoid using the same password for multiple accounts. It’s also a good idea to keep computers out of sight when you’re out of the house― you never know who’s checking for valuables when you’re away.
Hackers are everywhere. The 2017 Equifax Data Breach showed how important it is to monitor our credit reports. Many monitoring services are easy to use. Some lock your social security number so that no one but you can use it. Safely store or destroy documents with bank account information or social security numbers.
Prevent Fire or Water Damage
Birth certificates, titles, and passports are important documents – and you don’t want to be without them in an emergency. The best practice is to store these documents where they’ll be safe from fire or water damage. Small home safes are an excellent option for most. For high-value items, getting a security box at your bank may be necessary for peace of mind. Whatever your preference, make sure you’re housing your documents safely.
Did you know that 34% of burglars simply walk in through an unlocked front door? Or that most break-ins occur between 10 am and 3 pm when houses are usually empty? A few simple tools and habits will keep you well prepared against burglary.
Lock Your Doors and Windows
It’s always a good habit to keep your doors and ground-level windows locked. Most robberies are the result of opportunity, not a criminal master plan. A simple fix here would be to upgrade your deadbolt or add a second lock up higher on the door.
Security alarms and smart doorbells have become much more popular in middle-class homes. There is a wide range of security systems and providers. Many security systems pair with apps so you can alarm or monitor your home from anywhere. Finally, most security providers will give you signs with the security systems. Posting that you have a security system may be one of the most effective deterrents to theft.
Keep the exterior of your home well-lit to discourage nighttime crime. If you use video surveillance, it’s important to make sure you don’t have blind spots in your lighting. No matter what, it’s a good idea to have lights on your property’s front, sides, and backyard, especially near the entrances. Motion-activated lights are a great option for most people – they conserve power (which lowers your electricity bill), and they’ll often scare away potential intruders when the light turns on.
Summer nights are a fun time to be together as a family. A few tips and tricks will create quality memories without emergency room visits.
Proper outdoor lighting will make your yard safer, no matter the time of day. Whether it’s a powerful light on the driveway for evening basketball games or soft lights on the back patio for an outdoor dinner, consider the ways you use your yard and choose lights that will make it the safest for you and your family to enjoy.
The CDC states that there are an average of 33 drowning incidents per day in the United States. To keep your home’s pool safe, maintain a sturdy fence around the pool area if you have young children or pets. Always have a buddy whenever someone is in the pool, and always have life vests on hand. Keep pool maintenance chemicals in a safe location.
Maintaining a yard is a lot of work, and it comes with a lot of tools. Keep play areas and walkways clear by trimming back bushes and trees, and consider lighting well-used walkways (like the path to your front door or to your backyard shed) to make them safe after dark. Store yard tools somewhere safe when not in use, and make sure chemicals like gasoline and pesticides are either up high or behind a lock.
We understand that making your home safe is of the utmost importance. The lighting in your home should play a central role in both safety and comfort! For help choosing lighting that will make your home and family safer, stop by our showroom or give us a call to speak to our lighting experts!