A priority all of us have is keeping our families safe in every aspect we can control, and our homes are no different. Safety is paramount in our homes but are you doing everything you can do to keep everyone safe & sound? When we build our custom homes, we take safety seriously and do what we can to make your home safe by using quality products & following all safety regulations. Likewise, what do you need to think about to protect those that you love & maintain your home?
Falls on Stairs & Floors:
- Handrails should be secure & in place on all stairways to provide stability and help prevent falls.
- To keep falls to a minimum on hardwood steps, install stair treads or carpet runners. There are some gorgeous options available that won’t detract from your stunning hardwood floors. Carpeting the stairs is also a great option.
- If you have children, safety gates installed at the top & bottom of stairways are a must. Do your research and find the best baby gate for your specific needs.
- Outside steps & patios need to be kept free of debris, snow, and ice. Consider antiskid mats for areas that potentially stay slippery.
- Rugs in bathrooms & kitchens should have antiskid backs due to water spills.
- Nightlights near stairs & in hallways will help illuminate the way for those nighttime bathroom visits.
- We don’t ever think it will happen to us, but just leaving an unattended pot on the stove or a forgotten iron turned on can lead to trouble.
Smoke detectors are your biggest ally, but only if you take care of them. Change the batteries at least 2 times a year & test them monthly.
- Most smoke detectors have a finite lifespan so replace them as needed. If you move into an existing home, replace them if the previous owners can’t provide you with proof of installment. You need, at the minimum, one per level of your home. Always have one outside of bedrooms and near the kitchen & laundry room.
- Consider updating to a smart smoke alarm.
- Keep fire extinguishers around the home, check them yearly, and replace when needed.
- You should have a CO alarm in your home to monitor carbon monoxide.
- CO detectors should be in any home that has a fuel-burning appliance, heater, fireplace, or attached garage. Install one on each level of your home.
- Monthly maintenance involves unplugging & vacuuming it or wiping it to get rid of the dust.
- Most CO detectors are effective for 5-7 years, depending on what brand you purchase. Keep that date in mind & replace when needed.
- Some detectors can be plugged into outlets, eliminating the need to change batteries.
- Along with a CO detector, have your HVAC system, any appliances that use gas, vents, chimneys, and your water heater inspected professionally every year. If you buy an existing home, have these inspected before purchasing.
- Lint can build up in the dryer & the vent.
- Clean the vent frequently with a brush designed for this job. Clean the lint screen after every use.
- Check the vent hose to be sure it is properly connected & not restricted, kinked or damaged in any way.
- Do your research when replacing a vent hose for one approved for dryers.
- Check where it vents outside & feel for a good amount of warm moist air while the dryer is running. If you feel very little air, it may be blocked.
- Locks tend to be the weakest point of a door.
- Inspect your locks. The deadbolt should fully penetrate the doorframe to keep your door secured.
- The door lock should be heavy duty & solid metal with screws that fully anchor to the doorjamb & frame.
Some items need to be replaced or added to new or existing homes to keep your family safe, but there are other safety considerations to think about.
- Poisoning from household items is always a concern. Keep chemicals, household cleaning products & laundry products locked up or in cabinets that are not accessible to little ones.
- The cords on window blinds can be a strangulation hazard. Keep any dangling cords wrapped up on wall cleats & inaccessible to children. A better option is to install cordless blinds.
- Put covers on electrical outlets & stove knobs to keep children from sticking something in an outlet or inadvertently turning on the stove.
- Anchor any furniture that could potentially tip over onto your child.
- Keep a list of numbers needed for poison control, the fire, police, and ambulance readily available.
When we build our custom homes in neighborhoods like Upper Arlington & Jerome Village or on your lot, we are always cognizant of your family’s safety and we do what we can to build you a safe & beautiful home. Hopefully, these tips will help keep your family safe & sound in your home.