Which of These Home Dangers is in Your House?

Where do we spend many happy hours of our life? You guessed it, our homes. Is your home safe? It’s sad but true that many 911 calls happen because of an accident that happened in somebody’s home. There will be accidents that can’t be prevented, but there are some that can. Let’s make some minor changes to our home and make them as accident proof as possible.

The first and easiest change is to make sure your smoke alarms work. Many of them give a soft beep when the battery is dying. If you happen to be out of town for a weekend and don’t hear this subtle warning, you may miss it. As soon as you’re done reading this, check your smoke alarm. Firefighters suggest you change the batteries yearly. I can’t imagine you not having a smoke alarm, but if you don’t, get moving and install one today.

While the subject of fire is being addressed, have a fire escape plan for your family. If a fire happens, you’ll have precious little time to get away. Your plan should include two escape routes from every room. Fix windows that may be broken and unable to open. Install quick release latches for security bars. Choose a spot outside the house where everyone meets.

Stairwells can be an accident waiting to happen. Make sure the lighting is bright and working properly. Compact fluorescent bulbs give you more light for less money. Move stuff from the stairs that shouldn’t be there. You need a handrail even if you think you don’t. You may have older people visiting and they will need it. Young children will also use them.

Carpets can easily cause falls. Remove any slippery area rugs or anchor them securely with double sided tape along all four sides. Toes have a nasty habit of getting caught on a rug corner and can cause a fall. You don’t want that.

Bathrooms are another prime spot for accidents. Install grab bars in the shower/bathtub area. There are some great looking ones now. Do some shopping and you’ll see the new look of grab bars. The new ones also have secure anchoring systems and don’t need to be installed on studs.

There will be times when a space heater may be needed. These can be dangerous if care is not taken to insure they are operating properly. Be careful of putting them too close to furniture and drapes as they may cause a fire.

How long has it been since you’ve cleaned and inspected your fireplace? Small cracks in the chimney’s lining can cause a fire to escape the chimney and spread inside your walls. A good cleaning of the chimney will remove the creosote that builds up in chimneys when wood is burned. Creosote is highly flammable and needs to be eliminated.

Steps outside your house can be problematic, also. Inspect them to make sure there are no loose brick, stones or whatever the material. If they are concrete, repair any large cracks. When concrete cracks, it tends to cause uneven surfaces. This makes it highly likely that someone can trip on them.

All of these tasks can be performed in a weekend. The small amount of time invested may pay large dividends down the road for you and your family.

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