Everyone wants to feel safe in their own home. Ideally, we are all on the lookout for hazards all the time, but a general annual check over the entire house is recommended to allow for changes in the home safety requirements, such as the birth of a new baby, getting a new pet, or installing a swimming pool or new play equipment. Below are 30 things you should look for when carrying out your yearly scan of the safety around your home. Print this list off and use it as a checklist to ensure that your family is as safe as possible:
Child and Baby Safety
- Invest in baby locks for your cupboards, fridges and other areas in the house
- Invest in safety gates to close off stairs and other areas in the house
- Invest in soft rugs and play mats for the areas where your children play
- Make sure that your child’s toys, furniture and bedding is up to Australian standards
- Make sure all furniture is nailed in place (cupboards, desks) etc. so that your child cannot climb and topple
- Consider locking the doors, windows and other ‘escape’ methods to keep curious toddlers from serious falls
- Remove tablecloths from tables to prevent a baby from tugging it down and spilling the contents on the table
- Check that the wall switches are cool to touch. If they are hot then this could indicate a problem with the wiring and should be looked at by an electrician.
- When cooking, turn saucepans around so that the handle is pointing in and cannot be grabbed by little hands or spilled by someone passing by.
- Keep poisons and chemicals up high. Better still place these items in a cupboard that is locked with a key.
- Keep all extension and other chords out of the way. If possible, use duct tape to keep them safe from little hands and from tripping on the wires.
- Make sure that all electrical cords are safe from cracks or frays
- Regularly check the batteries in your smoke alarm
- Ensure that you have fire extinguishers (and that you know how to use them)
- Put safety coverings of all unused wall outlets and make sure the chords are out of reach on the ones that are being used
- Unplug all devices that you are not using (hair straighteners, hair dryers, kettles, etc.)
- Keep all appliances and electrical equipment away from areas where they may be water, such as the sink or near the bathtub
- Check that all your stairs are safely in place and that the stairway is well lit
- Invest in non-skid bath mats to prevent falls in the shower
- Make sure that you have proper fencing around the swimming pool and that it is impossible for children to gain access to this area through open windows.
- Ensure that all fences and gates have proper locks on them to keep pets and children in.
- Invest in an alarm system for the house to keep intruders out
- Look into security screens for your windows and doors
- Make sure your children are always wearing safety equipment when riding bikes, scooters, roller blades, etc.
- When barbequing, make sure there is adequate ventilation and ensure that you have turned off the gas when finished
- Always lock your car doors and keep the keys out of reach from your children.
Preparing for Emergencies
- Have an evacuation plan in place and make sure your kids are aware
- Speak to your children about what to do in the event of a fire or other disaster in the house
- Teach your children how to dial 000
- And, finally, prepare an emergency kit with items such as spare batteries, clothes, water, food and a torch