Tips to make your home safer
We’re fortunate enough to live
in a time of unmatched safety and comfort. However, it’s all too easy to
overlook the more mundane dangers that still exist in our homes. Though they
rarely grab headlines, threats such as fire, carbon monoxide and falls leave
thousands injured or worse every year. Thankfully, many of these dangers can be
significantly reduced with some simple precautions, habits or products. Here are
four such ways to make your home safer.
Though sometimes taken for
granted in modern homes, smoke and carbon monoxide alarms play a crucial safety
role. Fire can spread shockingly fast, and poisonous carbon monoxide is
invisible and odorless, meaning alarms are an indispensable line of defense.
Functioning smoke alarms should
be installed on every level of your home, in every bedroom and outside every
sleeping area. Smoke alarms should be tested every month and replaced every 10
years from the date of manufacture. Carbon monoxide alarms should also be
installed on every level of the home and outside each sleeping area. Consider
interconnected alarms so that all alarms will sound if one detects danger.
Fix fall hazards
Though it rarely grabs
headlines, but some 10,000 people die each year as a result of falls at home,
with many more being injured.
To reduce the chance of these
kinds of accidents, begin by arranging furniture out of the way of your typical
routes around the home. For example, no obstructions should be between your bed
and the bedroom door. Place electrical cords, pet bowls and other smaller
hazards against walls rather than in walkways. Consider doing away with throw
rugs, which can slide or bunch up, or immobilize them with carpet tacks or
two-sided carpet tape. Put a rubber mat or nonslip strips in your bathtub and
install grab bars if necessary. Keeping your home clean and decluttered is also
If mobility is or is becoming an
issue for someone in your home, it may be wise to consider a single-level home
with few or no steps should be a consideration.
Who best to keep watch on your home
than yourself? Consumer-installable home monitoring systems have become easy
and affordable thanks to digital technology and the Internet. With one or more Internet-connected
cameras installed in your home, you can monitor your place from your
smartphone or computer, checking in on pets, weather effects or other home
welfare concerns. Other smart home elements can let you control your
thermostat, lights or other appliances from afar for even more security.
devices introduce their own risks. Make sure you only purchase products and
services from reputable brands, and use unique, secure passwords on all of your
accounts and systems.
Hundreds of thousands of people
are treated for burn injuries in the U.S. every year, and many of them are
To reduce the risk of scalds
from hot water faucets, consider turning down the maximum temperature of your
water heater to the minimum level recommended by your heater’s manual (but don’t
go any lower, or you may risk bacteria growth). Keep an eye on children when
cooking, and consider installing safety covers for appliance knobs to prevent young
ones from turning on hot surfaces.
fire safety, including educating all members of the household on how to
prevent, recognize and escape fires – especially important for young children.
By following these steps, you
can be satisfied knowing you’ve made your home a safer place.