So, you think your home is safe? You’ve baby-proofed all the electrical outlets, cabinets and drawers; placed a baby gate at the top of the stairs, locked away medicine and cleaning supplies, installed a home security system and added a plethora of other home safety devices while subtracting a variety of potential hazards. Good! You’re well on your way to having a safe home, but you’re not there yet. Revisit these 7 danger zones in your home to ensure your family’s living space is as safe as possible.
The smallest room in the home is often the most dangerous one too. A wet, soapy floor, shower or tub is as slick as ice. Literally. If your home water heater is set at above 110 degrees Fahrenheit you or another family member could be scalded while taking a bath, shower or brushing teeth. Any electrical appliances in the bathroom pose a danger, should the appliance come into contact with water. Any type of medicine or medicinal product, like rubbing alcohol, could be fatal to a child if ingested.
The heart and hub of the home is a danger zone, and not just because of the obvious heat-producing stove top and oven. Spills on the floor could cause a fall. Drawers and cabinets doors left ajar could poke eyes and crack heads of passers-by. Knives placed incorrectly in a kitchen drawer or in a sink filled with soapy dish washing water could cause serious cuts to the hands.
Families that live in a home with a stairway often place items on the stairs that need to be taken up or down to be picked up by the next stair-user. Said items pose a tripping hazard and make the stairway a danger zone in the home. A loose handrail, loose carpet or boards and/or poor lighting also increase the odds of someone getting hurt on the stairs.
Windows and Glass Doors
Ever try to pry open a stuck window and hurt your back? Thought so. Stuck windows can cause bodily injury. Standing on anything besides a secure ladder to wash windows or glass doors can result in a fall that may send you crashing through the glass. Climbing on top of a chair or other furniture that is near a window or glass door to retrieve a high object could also result in a fall that would send you crashing through the glass.
Protect your hearth and flooring from hot embers that could catch your home on fire by always using a screen or glass doors in front of the roaring fire. The chimney and flue needs to be cleaned and inspected once a year and always allow ashes to cool completely before removing.
Basements and Attics
Basements, attics or utility rooms is where we stash stuff we don’t know what else to do with. Combustible stuff, like newspapers, cardboard, clothing and volatile liquids should never be stored near heating equipment. Good lighting is needed in these danger zones (and the stairs leading to them) to prevent falls and mishaps.
This may be the garage, the man-cave, craft room or a separate building, but it’s the space where the power tools and sharp objects are located. It’s a do-it-yourself room, not a do-it-to-yourself room, so use precautions. Proper lighting and safety glasses are a must, and be sure to unplug power tools before changing blades, cutters, bits, etc.