Every so often, it’s a smart idea to assess the safety measures and devices we keep around our homes. While we hope that we never end up in a scary situation and need to use them, it is always best to be prepared. Taking a weekend to perform these routine safety checks can help keep your household safe when unexpected events arise. And with daylight savings time and a change of seasons happening this month, now is a perfect time to review your home’s safety features. We’ll also mention a few measures that give extra peace of mind to homes with young kids and older adults.
Tune-Up Home Devices and Settings
Be sure to check that your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors are working and adequately powered. Homeowners should test the alarms monthly and change the batteries biannually. Make sure the detectors are clean of dust to prevent the devices from malfunctioning. Fire extinguishers should be found on every floor of your home, including the kitchen. As far as your hot water heating system goes, make sure the temperature is set no higher than 120F degrees to prevent burns and keep children and flammable materials away from the heating unit.
Safeguard all Generations
Multi-generational households are quite common these days, so here are some tips for young and old alike. Store all poisonous or hazardous products like detergents and cleaners in locked cabinets to prevent small children from accidentally consuming them. Either on the fridge or by the phone, keep the phone number for Poison Control (800-222-1222) easily accessible. For older adults, take a tour of your home with an eye for tripping hazards. Area rugs, bath mats, extension cords, loose railings, and slippery bath surfaces can spell disaster for older family members whose mobility or vision has declined. Make sure interior and exterior handrails are sturdy and consider installing grab bars in the bathroom for the elder members of your family. Needless to say, keep cords and area rugs out of aisleways.
Stroll the Grounds
Check that exterior vents are clear of debris. Perform regular checks for damaged doors (and locks), windows, roofing, and siding, and make the necessary repairs. It’s a good idea to keep your landscape tidy and have outdoor lighting systems in place, making it difficult for trespassers who wish to stay hidden. Lastly, if you need to stash a spare key, you’re better off keeping it with a trusted neighbor or friend than hiding it under mats and rocks for would-be thieves to find. Or better yet, consider a programmable lockset that operates with a code, or even installing a lockbox in a discreet place to house your spare key.
Have an Emergency Plan
In the event a disaster strikes your home, and you need to evacuate right away, have an emergency plan in place. Review your emergency plan with your household members regularly and make necessary adjustments. Your plan should detail at least two escape routes and a meeting place. Additionally, keep an emergency kit ready filled with supplies and enough provisions for 72 hours. There are many resources online that detail what supplies you should keep in this emergency kit. Some basic items include water, non-perishable food, flashlight, batteries, first-aid kit, change of clothes, cash, medications, and personal hygiene products.
Design and Build Your Dream Home with Columbia Builders!
Columbia Builders is the home builder of choice in Howard County, offering homes in Ellicott City, Elkridge, Laurel, Columbia, Marriottsville, Fulton, Clarksville, Dayton, and Brookeville. No matter what the size and scope of your project, we have the skills, experience, and resources needed to bring your vision to life. We offer a level of customization that is truly unmatched and are committed to using materials and craftsmen of the highest quality, so you can trust that your new home is built to last.
If you’re ready to invest in a home that is built with your needs in mind, trust in us. Give Columbia Builders a call today at 410-730-0215 or use our contact form here. You can also keep up with us on Facebook,Twitter, Houzz, and Youtube, and don’t forget to check back on our blog for more tips and information!