Year-End Checklist: Everything You Need to Know to Keep Your Home Safe

by Carson BuckDecember 26, 2016

You May Feel Snugly Bundled Up, But Is Your Home?

According the to Centers for Disease Control, roughly one half of the injuries that result in 1.9 million hospitalizations and sixty-five million ER and doctor visits every year in the United States happen in the home. Of these sixty-seven million annual injuries, the overwhelming majority were caused by accidental falls in the home.

So, as this winter sets in and the cold keeps us in the most dangerous environment we’re likely to encounter (statistically anyway), it makes sense to look for ways to limit the hazards we’re exposed to in the home. Here’s a quick list of things you can do to improve the safety and security of your home, whether you are home or far away.

home winter safety

Watch for Falling Bodies

The most common accident in the home is a fall, and falls disproportionately affect the elderly and infirm. For these reasons, the CDC puts out a handy booklet on how to prevent falls and other common household accidents by making clear pathways in all rooms, ensuring that carpets are tacked down (especially carpeting on stairs), tucking all cords and cables behind furniture and along walls, illuminating pathways commonly used in low light conditions, and through other methods.

home winter safety

Batten Down the Hatches

Winter brings rough weather, darkness, and cold temperatures to many parts of the country. One or more of these factors can affect an unprepared home in such a way as to make the homeowner choose between doing something unsafe in bad weather (sometimes on a ladder), and letting the weather wreak havoc on their home.

The good folks at Thumbtack have published a seasonal homeowners checklist, to get you ready for every season. For winter, you’ll want to make sure that your exterior water pipes are insulated, your hose bibs are shut off and insulated, your exterior crawl space vents are closed, your snow removal equipment is easily accessible, and your furnace filters are clean and fresh.

home winter safety

Special Checks for Winter Vacations

Not all of us can stay bundled up in our homes all winter long. Many make the trek across the country or globe to see friends and family for the holidays. Many others vacation to warmer climes in the winter, and several more still make the trip to the slopes a part of their winter rotation.

If you plan to leave your home for more than a weekend this winter, it pays to play it safe. Buy a light timer to randomly turn your lights on and off, give a trusted friend or neighbor a key and ask them to check on the place regularly, and if you live in a small enough community, let your neighborhood watch or local police know that you’ll be out of town. For more ideas, check out the Independent Traveler’s list of suggestions on what to do with your home when traveling.

home winter safety

Come Home or Stay Home for Safety

Don’t let your home scare you. Sure, according to the CDC, it can be a dangerous place but armed with the right information and the handy checklists mentioned above, you can give yourself some piece of mind and keep you, your loved ones, and your home safe and secure this holiday season. is the place to dream and discover your ideal home! Are you starting to get the itch to look for your first or next home, but don’t know where to start? You’ve come to the right place! Browse our real estate and lifestyle blog for home buying tips, mortgage guides, DIY ideas, interior design, lifestyle topics, general home inspiration, or just some homes fun. We are sure you can scratch that itch and find all the information and tools you need to help in your home search. Want to start looking at available real estate right now? Head to our home page and check out homes for sale or rent listings all over the country. Happy house hunting!

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About The Author
Carson Buck
Carson is a real estate agent based out of Phoenix, Arizona. Carson loves data and market research, and how readily available it is in today's world. He is passionate about interpreting these insights to help his clients find and buy their perfect home. Carson got into the real estate industry because he loves the feeling of handing over the keys to a new home to happy clients. In his free time, he works on his backyard bonsai garden and spends time with his wife, Julia.