We put so much thought into the design, comfort and functionality of our homes it’s surprising how easy it is to forget about safety. It’s easy to get complacent at home because it’s our safe haven. But the truth of the matter is, thousands of people have accidents at home every year. And a break-in happens every 13 seconds in the U.S..
As families become more blended and extended, the safety needs will continue to grow. Young children, elderly parents and debilitating injuries all require special safety measures.
Make a home into a safe zone for the entire family with these tips.
Enhanced Stair Safety
As soon as you have a child steps seem to look steeper and much more perilous than before. Baby gates are an absolute must if you have a two-story home or flight of stairs. This simple device can keep babies and toddlers from wandering too close to the first step.
Getting up and downstairs is also problematic for the elderly. Falls are the number one reason elderly people end up in the emergency room. Whenever possible, elderly family members should have a bedroom on the bottom floor if a home has two stories. There are other options like the EasyClimber home elevator and stair lifts if the living quarters are upstairs.
No matter who lives in the house, it’s important to have good traction on the stairs for safety. Avoid slippery surfaces and loose carpeting that can trip people. Secure handrails are another essential for stair safety.
On a related note, adequate lighting is essential for home safety. Anytime the lighting is low the increase of falling increases. For example, a light over the staircase will make going up and down them at night much safer.
- · Change light bulbs as soon as they go out.
- · Use light-sensor nightlights in the hallways and bathrooms
- · Put lamps in rooms without overhead lighting.
- · Use wall mounted lights in closets.
- · Add under-mount lights to illuminate stairs.
- · Keep the front porch light on to discourage burglars from tampering with your door.
No-Slip Flooring Tips
Even a small slip can lead to a big injury. Senior citizens are at a particularly high risk of breaking a bone after a short fall. Often the flooring is to blame.
- · The staircase isn’t the only spot where floor coverings can cause a trip. Reduce the number of loose rugs around the house.
- · Fix door transitions if they come loose.
- · Keep pathways wide and clear furniture.
- · If you use mats make sure they have a beveled edge.
- · Put non-slip mats in the bathroom and tub.
- · Never string extension cords across the floor.
- · Avoid over polishing wood floors. If they’re already polished consider using a non-slip additive.
Wi-Fi Connected Home Security System
You can now keep an eye on your house inside and out from anywhere. Leading home security homes like ADT, Protect America and Samsung have created comprehensive security systems that are Wi-Fi connected. You can also put together a system of your own using various devices to cover your entire property.
Not only can you receive alerts instantly and check in when you’re away, new Wi-Fi home security systems are more tamper-resistant than wired systems. They’re also easy to install on your own and can be added piece by piece if you’re on a budget.
Put the Right Fire Extinguishers in the Right Places
Did you know there’s more than one type of fire extinguisher? The goal is to knock down flames, but there are many different types of fire depending on the source. Different sources require different types of extinguisher fluid.
In the kitchen, you’ll want an ABC fire extinguisher. An ABC extinguisher can put out combustibles (A), flammable liquids (B) and electrical equipment fires (C). A fire extinguisher with the K classification will also put out kitchen fires.
Another place to consider putting a fire extinguisher is in the garage. A Class C extinguisher is highly recommended if the washer and dryer or fuse boxes are located in the garage or if tools are regularly used in the space. If you have a two-story home it’s also a good idea to keep at least one ABC fire extinguisher upstairs.