Safeguard Your Home for Summer: 6 Things to Check Around the Home
Safeguard Your Home for Summer
For many, the word “home” evokes sentiments of safety and comfort. But how do you keep your home safe during the summer season? Hazards and sites of potential injury exist throughout your home, but with a few reminders and safety tips, you can reinforce the safety of your home. Read on for a checklist of ways to keep your family and home safe this summer.
Electrical Cords and Outlets
With cords and electrical outlets rampant throughout your home, these devices can be unsuspecting traps hidden in plain sight. This summer, check electrical cords for any loose or frayed wires to protect you and your family from a potential fire hazard.
Beware of overload. Have you checked to make sure you’ve followed wattage and outlet requirements? If not, check your lamps and electrical outlets to reduce the risk of fire. Similarly, be sure that you are not overloading a particular outlet. If you have a high-wattage appliance (like a refrigerator) plugged into one outlet, try to avoid using this plug for any other devices.
Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Detectors
To keep the air you and your family breathe safe, you should install both smoke and carbon monoxide detectors in your home. Already have them? Be sure to check these detectors regularly (we recommend monthly) to be sure that they’re reliable and equipped with batteries. As part of your check, clean the grill of each detector to reduce any buildup that could hinder the performance of the alarm.
Vacation from school brings added activity into your home. If you have children, go through your home room by room to check for potential sources of injury. A few areas you don’t want to miss:
- Bathroom: Make sure to store your medicine and vitamins on a shelf that is out of reach for young children. Go a step further, and take precautions by adding childproof caps to any containers.
- Kitchen: Help prevent curious children from finding trouble by adding safety latches and locks to your cabinets (especially if they contain poisonous substances). Be sure to keep knives securely out of reach.
- Stairs: With kids on the move, add safety gates to the top and bottom levels of each staircase in your home to prevent injury.
- Living Room: Coffee tables and sofa legs can have sharp edges, so install padding to avoid injury for small kids playing at high speeds.
With summer vacations drawing near, don’t forget to take steps to safeguard your home while you’re away. Installing a security system protects your home with 24/7 surveillance, but there are other cost-effective safety checks too.
Another easy way to safeguard your home for summer is to create the illusion that your home is occupied while you’re out of town. Inquire if a neighbor would be willing to check your mail box and to collect any packages that arrive; hire a family friend to come by the house daily or weekly to mow the lawn or water any plants.
Another tip? Don’t leave your spare key in its usual place. Instead, ask a neighbor or a family friend to hold on to the key while you are away. While your key may be hidden, this extra precaution will give you peace of mind as well as added protection from clever crooks.
Chances are you and your family will be eager to soak up some Vitamin D while using your backyard during the summer months. Be proactive and make certain your yard is ready for summer use by attending to your yard. Take an afternoon to inspect your backyard for any holes or loose patches of soil that could cause foul play for visitors or kids on the move.
Another item to check: the grill. If you’re planning to host barbecues or to put your grill to good use this summer, be sure to keep a few safety measures in mind:
- Check for leaks and blockages before you grill.
- Don’t leave the grill unattended! Stay near the grill while it’s in use to monitor flames and to prevent small children from potential injury.
- Be mindful of where you position your grill. Take care to ensure the grill is a safe distance from any flammable objects (patio furniture, linens, etc.) and your home.
Create a fire escape plan. If you have young ones, practice a home escape plan that includes two ways out of every room. For second story floors, use a ladder and make it like a game — if a time comes for you and your loved ones to exit your home, they’ll be prepared. Anticipate natural disasters. Whether you live in an earthquake, tsunami, wildfire, or hurricane warning zone, you’ll want to be prepared in the event of an emergency. Pull together a kit of essentials:
- water (plan 1 gallon per person for three days)
- 3-4 day food supply
- a flashlight or lantern with extra batteries
- hygiene products
- candles and matches
While summer is the perfect time to check up on potential hazards and safeguard your home, make these actions routine throughout the year. Do you part to keep your home safe for you and your loved ones. It will make all the difference.
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