Your home is where you go to relax and unwind — but it’s far easier to do so if you’ve made sure it is as safe as it can possibly be. The question is, what are you missing and where can you improve? Here are four ways to make your home safer.
Pests in your home are a huge, unwelcome headache — and not just because they’re creepy. Pests get into your food and they leave behind traces that you’d prefer to do without. Some pests, like cockroaches, actually place a toll on human health. Roaches have a few terrible habits that contribute to this, such as crawling over rotten food and eating feces. They also travel easily from location to location, and as hardy little beasts, they can survive extreme situations. In addition, some people are allergic to cockroaches, which can trigger asthma or other health problems. Getting rid of unwanted pests, then, can make a positive impact on your health, as well as those who live with you.
Of course, the usual recommendation to keep smoke alarms installed in every bedroom (and outside every sleeping area) is vital to keeping your home and its inhabitants safe from the dangers of an accidental house fire. It’s also crucial to keep your alarms up to date. Ideally, replace all smoke alarms in your home every 10 years, test each one once a month and replace batteries twice a year. However, there are other important tips to keep in mind when it comes to fire safety. For example, never leave your cooking unattended, keep all furniture, curtains and other household items at least three feet away from sources of heat, and never, ever, smoke in bed.
One overlooked home safety tip is to take regular trips through all parts of your home and identify places where you or your family members could trip, fall or otherwise find themselves in trouble. This may sound simple, or even silly, but the World Heath Organization has identified falls as the second most frequent cause of accidental death worldwide. While older folks and children are more at risk, anyone can become a victim, and even if a fall isn’t fatal, it can lead to injury and permanent disability. Look for poorly-lit areas, unsteady railings, loose cords, items on the staircase or clutter on the floor. Also, ensure that all of your nursery equipment (cribs, strollers, toys and so on) have not been recalled by checking the Consumer Product Safety Commission website.
Electricity is a crucial part of the function, comfort and enjoyment of our homes, but it can also cause disasters if we’re not careful. For example, don’t attempt to repair an electrical item if you don’t have the training and experience to do so safely — always contact a professional. Make sure that items that generate heat, such as computers, TVs and alarm clocks, have plenty of clearance so they can blow off their own steam without becoming overheated. Keep unused items unplugged when not in use, and keep their cables out of reach.