Buying a Home? Avoid These Common Home Hazards
Home is where the heart is, but it can also be a place of hazards if it's not properly maintained. As a Bee Cave homeowner, there are many things you can do to make your home a safer and more enjoyable place to be. The following five tips can help you improve safety around the house, and may also improve quality of life as well.
1. Install Smoke Detectors and Carbon Monoxide Detectors
Many homes already have carbon monoxide detectors hardwired into the construction of the house, because many states now require new homes to be constructed with these features built-in. However, if your home is older and if you've owned it for a long time, it's unlikely to have smoke detectors attached to the ceiling.
If this is the case, buy your own smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors for each room and hallway of the house. Test the batteries quarterly to ensure they're still working, and replace the batteries as needed.
2. Keep Fire Extinguishers on Hand
Fire extinguishers can help you put out a fire when one breaks out. Fire extinguishers lose their pressure (and thus their effectiveness) over time. Keep fire extinguishers in different parts of the house (including high-risk areas like the kitchen and garage), and then check those fire extinguishers regularly to ensure they still operate. Different fire extinguishers are designed to put out different types of fires, so be sure to match the type of fire extinguisher you buy to the type of fire that's likely to break out there.
Homeowners may think that owning a fire extinguisher is enough to safeguard the safety of family members. With residential fires taking place every 66 seconds, it can be useful to learn more about this all too common home safety hazard. Fires can start in kitchens, workrooms, bedrooms, living rooms and other spaces. Cooking that has been left unattended or overloaded electrical wires can cause a residential fire. Make sure to turn off stoves before leaving a room and unplug appliances not in use. Get an early alert of a fire by installing and maintaining fire alarms throughout the home and learn how to operate a fire extinguisher before it is ever needed.
3. Install Non-Slip Floors and Flooring
Floors in the bathroom and kitchen can get slippery, especially around the sink and bathtub. Install non-slip floors in these locations to prevent you and other members of your household from slipping. On your bathtub or shower, install a rubber mat to prevent accidents.
Not every slip and fall will lead to an injury. However, injuries from falls are recognized as a common household hazard. Increased risk of falls occur in homes with scattered toys, wet floors and slippery stairs. Decrease the chance for falls by:
- Storing and keeping toys in areas that are not in the path of foot traffic and removing toys near entrance areas, hallways and stairs.
- Removing debris, snow, ice or leaves from outdoor steps. Securing any mats with grip tape.
- Ensuring staircases are stable with solid handrails and flooring. Homeowners should use safety gates when homes include small children.
- Using non-slip stickers on slick shower surfaces to prevent slipping.
Staying vigilant and observant of the conditions within a home and potential obstacles in high traffic areas can help make it less likely occupants and visitors slip and fall. Additional modifications like installing safety rails in the bathroom may be needed in homes where an occupant has mobility issues.
4. Bolt Furniture to the Wall
Tall furniture like bookcases can fall forward during an event like an earthquake. If you have children, they may even climb on the book case and topple it down on top of themselves. Use earthquake straps to secure the furniture into the wall to prevent this from happening. Simultaneously, teach your children never to climb on the furniture.
5. Install a Security System
Install a home security system, especially if you live in an area that is a high-risk for burglary or theft. If you don't want to pay the monthly subscription for a security system, DIY your own system with smart cameras and smart locks.
Improving safety around the house can help you take care of your loved ones and your investment. Follow these safety tips to help ensure that your home is safe.
Prevent Injury and Play It Safe
Homeowners may need to stay on top of potential home hazards and ensure that electrical work is done to code. Aside from maintaining the elements of a home, replacing batteries on fire alarms, and being able to use a fire extinguisher are useful in improving occupant safety. Most of these DIY projects can be done by the homeowner.
It is all too easy for residents to suffer an injury from common and entirely preventable home hazards. New homeowners and those with growing families may not be aware of the home safety hazards leading to falls or residential fires. As young children and those with mobility issues may be more susceptible to serious injury, it is helpful to take a few steps to improve occupant safety. Know more about common home hazards found in homes today.