Improving the safety of your home is one of those important things on your to-do list that never seems to be complete. Many of the tasks are ongoing: checking the batteries in the smoke detector, maintaining the fire extinguishers, changing the furnace filter, and cleaning out the medicine cabinet. Even if you are attending to those regular chores, there are still some key items you should add to your home safety list.
6 Essential Home Safety Tips
- Secure your throw rugs. Area rugs can provide a real safety hazard. Install double-sided tape or grip mats under each rug, or if possible, remove area rugs from high traffic walkways altogether.
- Check your window locks. Window locks can break or wear out just like any other item, and this is one to-do item that often gets overlooked. Check each window lock for loose parts or broken hinges and replace as needed. This is also a good time to inspect each window for damaged or loose panels intruders could exploit to gain access to your home.
- Inspect appliance wiring. Many home appliances never come into your consciousness until there is a problem. Each spring, you should inspect all electrical cords for wear and tear. Rodents can chew on wires during the winter months, and these frayed cords pose a fire hazard. Pull out the dishwasher, check the toaster cord, and inspect the washer and dryer for evidence of rodent activity regularly. Call a qualified electrician to repair any damage you discover.
- Clean your chimneys. If you use a wood burner or fireplace to supplement your winter heating system, checking your chimneys annually for creosote buildup is essential. This residue can catch fire. This is also a good time to inspect your heating ducts and exhaust pipes for breaks or cracks.
- Repair damaged walkways and railings. Winter can be rough on concrete, and your walkways, patios, and porches may suffer from cracks and crumbling come spring. Repairing these uneven walking surfaces is vital to keeping your home safe for you and for your visitors. Also monitor the condition of steps and railings.
- Also look at your ground fault outlets and main utilities like gas lines, breaker boxes, and water pipes. Leaky pipes, frayed wires, faulty wiring, and gas leaks can all pose potential safety hazards that are easily avoided with regular inspections.
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Keeping your home safe is an essential part of being a responsible homeowner. While these items may seem like a rote part of home maintenance, they are important steps that help keep your home a hazard-free environment for yourself and for visitors.
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