Your home is a place where you’re supposed to feel at-ease. Unfortunately, because of the sheer amount of time we spend in our homes, it’s statistically the place where accidents are the most likely to happen.
While making your home completely harmless would be almost impossible — and even if it were possible, it would probably be very expensive — every little bit helps. There’s plenty you can do at very little cost to give you more peace-of-mind in your piece of the world.
You wouldn’t want harm to befall you when you’re simply walking around your house. That said, if your home has indoor stairs, the safest they can be is covered in carpet secured by carpenter’s nails.
A loose carpet can create a tripping hazard if it gets uneven, and while hardwood steps might look classier or linoleum might seem more practical, they can quickly become a slippery when wet.
Speaking of wet, bathmats for shower-time aren’t just for the elderly. A slip and fall in the tub can happen to anyone. If you land funny, you might be in for more than a sore spot.
If you’re really willing to go the extra mile, you could try to install a grab bar for the shower, though admittedly this would be a bit pricier.
A good investment would be to get a radon gas inspection done. Radon forms naturally wherever there’s traces of uranium in the soil. That can be anywhere on Earth, including under your house.
Many people get sick every year from radon rising from their home’s foundation, but a radon inspection can prevent that from happening to you.
Even things meant for recreation can be set up for disaster if they aren’t set up properly.
Take your television, for example. While a TV table stand is safer than a poorly-mounted wall mount, a properly-mounted wall mount is safer than both. This is because a TV sturdily attached to something is more secure than a TV sitting on a platform and attached to nothing. Especially if you have children running around, you don’t want to risk having your television knocked over.
Are you reading this on your cell phone? If so, how’s the battery level doing?
It may seem wasteful, but it’s a good idea to charge your mobile devices whenever you can, especially ones with the capability of calling emergency services. You never know when someone’s going to drive into a telephone pole in your neighborhood and knock out your electricity.
You also don’t know when you’re going to receive too much electricity. Surge protectors not only protect your devices from being over-juiced, but they can also protect you from any sparking that might occur as a result of a power surge.
Do you live in an area where tornadoes occur? What about any other natural disaster that might involve high winds?
It may be a good idea to keep some helmets in the room you’ve designated for storm shelter (and if you haven’t designated such a room, you ought to). Bicycle helmets would probably be the most practical and accessible, but if you have any well-fitting football helmets or hardhats laying around, those can suffice as well.
In the worst-case scenario, wearing a helmet can greatly reduce injury if you get swept off your feet (and not in the happy metaphorical way) and land on your head. Even if you’re able to stay grounded, it can protect your head from flying debris.
Don’t Get Burned
If there’s one particularly frightening thing that can happen to a house, it’s a fire. While these can happen almost anywhere, there’s much you can do to reduce the potential damage, and possibly even prevent a fire from starting.
First things first, check the batteries in your smoke detector – and the ones in your carbon monoxide detector while you’re at it.
This isn’t just because these two things are useless if their batteries are dead. It’s also because a rotting battery in a smoke or CO detector is actually a major fire hazard itself. If there’s one thing worse than a house fire, it’s an ironic house fire.
Make sure you also have a fire extinguisher, know where it is, and how to use it.
Furthermore, if you’re doing anything inside that involves fire or smoke, at the very least open the windows to ventilate the air or take your activity outside altogether.
Maybe you can’t use your stove outside, but you certainly don’t need to smoke a cigarette inside the house. (Of course, we would be remiss not to recommend avoiding smoking altogether).
Actually, come to think of it, you can cook food outside if you have a grill. If you do have one, it would be best to keep it away from your house. Preferably, don’t keep it next to anything, and whatever you do, don’t keep it on or next to a wooden porch. This is especially true if you use charcoal, as a lit lump can get lost more easily than you think.
This tip may be a bit controversial, but every fire-safety expert recommends it: keep the doors to the rooms of your house closed.
Some people want to keep all their rooms’ doors open to circulate the air, others to keep an eye on children and pets at all times, and still others simply think it’s too stuffy and claustrophobic to close off all the rooms.
But the fact of the matter is if there should happen to be a fire, every closed door will impede its spread. This isn’t just important for protecting possessions from fire damage, but for protecting the people inside the rooms from smoke inhalation.
The Ultimate Tip
Whether it’s a fire, a fall, or anything in between, there may come a time when you need emergency services to assist you and your family. In case that ever happens, there’s one thing you need to do to help them help you: make sure they can find where you live.
A significant number of people have had bad situations get worse because paramedics, police officers, and firefighters simply can’t tell which house they’re supposed to go to because the address isn’t visible from the street.
Some might say such public servants ought to be able to figure it out based on block numbers or the addresses on neighboring houses, but in an emergency, who would want to risk it?
The best setup would be to have your house number visible at the street, on the actual building, and to have both visible in the dark – those black-text-on-a-white-background stickers might look tacky, but they do their job well. Who knows? Maybe you’ll be the helpful point of reference when the ambulance can’t find your neighbor.
The world can be a dangerous place, but making it less dangerous is not just a luxury reserved for the rich. Whoever you are, there are ways that you can make your home the safe haven it’s supposed to be.