Keep Your Home Safe
“Home, sweet home”…”There’s no place like home”…”Home is where the heart is”…No matter what your favorite inspirational saying is, home is a place of nostalgia-filled memories of comfort, family, and life.
While you're enjoying the security your home has to offer, risks and potential hazards that could cause accidents in your home may be overlooked. Practicing consistent safety behaviors will allow you and your family to continue to enjoy the comfort and tranquility of a secure home environment.
To help maintain a safe and secure home environment for your family members and guests, here are 10 simple preventative actions you can take:
- Test your smoke and carbon dioxide alarms on a regular basis. Make sure they're working properly. Invest in replacing older models and make sure batteries are up to date. You may also want to prepare an emergency fire escape plan and periodically practice the steps to make sure family members know the drill.
- Assess the interior of your home. Look for possible risks that could cause someone to trip, slip, and fall. Inspect each room and hallway to ensure that floors and stairs are free of clutter, toys, and other objects. Remove any loose rugs and wires and brighten poorly lit staircases and foyers. Install night lights that turn on automatically after dark. Put a non-slip rubber mat or self-adhesive strips on your bathroom tub or shower floors. Always keep the exterior of your home well-lit at night, particularly during fall and winter months with fewer hours of daylight. The lighting outside your home should be bright enough to sufficiently illuminate your driveway, stairs, and walkways.
- Check your locks and deadbolts on all doors and windows. If you have a burglar alarm system, choose a different combination than what you use for your other passwords.
- Protect your privacy. Do not disclose your family's routine or vacation times, especially online at social media sites. Only share personal information, such as work or school schedules, with relatives or a few trusted friends and associates. Be aware of the rhythms of your neighborhood and note any odd occurrences or unfamiliar people frequenting the area.
- Put durable socket covers on all electrical outlets. Prevent electrical burn or shock. Make sure that younger children are not left alone when electric appliances are switched on. When old enough, teach your children to turn off and unplug appliances when not in use. Also, stress the importance of keeping electric appliances away from water, and never touching electrical appliances with wet hands or when near water.
- Don't leave your children or pets alone in a room with a burning candle. Place candles in safe locations away from combustible items, such as papers, curtains, and rugs, where children or pets can't accidentally tip them over. Always keep matches and lighters out of your children’s reach.
- Take extra precautions when having repairs or maintenance work done inside or outside your home. Doors and windows can be left unlocked, electrical appliances may not get turned off, cords and wires could cause someone to trip and fall, or pets could slip out the crack of an open door. Make sure you look for things that can become “undone” from someone not living at your home.
- Leave home appliance and yard equipment repairs to the professionals. Attempting to fix major home appliances or sharp-ended yard tools, such as hedge trimmers, on your own increases your risk of sustaining an accident or injury.
- Drive slowly and cautiously when entering or backing out of your driveway or garage. Always look out for children and pets that may be difficult to detect under or around your vehicle.
- Maintain the environment around your home. Clear your walkways of snow and ice in the winter. Look for dead branches of trees that may overhang your house or yard. Make sure gutters are cleaned of leaves and debris that can cause improper drainage or backflow.
While this is not an exhaustive list by any means, taking these simple precautions and safety measures, can help prevent accidents and danger from occurring inside and outside your home.
Our Risk Coaches are licensed insurance professionals who are trained to look at coverage from your perspective. They’re glad to help you navigate the often-perplexing world of insurance coverage. Start a quote online, or call us at 800.342.5342 Monday through Friday, from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. ET. Product, service, program, credit, and discount availability and limits vary by state.