Home Safety Checklist

HOME SAFETY CHECKLIST
Check off each item that describes the situation in your home. Some items won’t relate to your home. For example, if you have a single story home, items related to stairs should be eliminated since they don’t apply to you. Each item that is left unchecked represents a potential hazard.

Stairways, Halls, and Outdoor Steps
_ Stairways with three or more steps have a strong handrail.
_ Stairways and halls are kept free from boxes, toys, mops, brooms, tools, and other tripping hazards.
_ Gates at top and bottom of stairs prevent children from falling.
_ The head and foot of stairs have no small or loose rugs.
_ Stair carpeting or covering is fastened securely.
_ Stairways and halls have adequate lights, controllable at either end.

Kitchen
_ Matches are kept where children cannot get them.
_ Knives and sharp instruments are kept in a special knife drawer or holder out of reach of children.
_ Can openers don’t leave sharp edges on cans.
_ Lye, disinfectants and cleaning products are kept out of reach of children.
_ Pan handles are turned away from stove edges.
_ Spilled grease, water, or bits of food are wiped up immediately.
_ Pot holders are within easy reach.
_ A fire extinguisher is mounted near the stove.

Bathroom
_ Tubs and showers are equipped with strong handholds.
_ Tub floors have a non-slip surface installed.
_ Poisons are clearly marked, sealed shut with adhesive tape, and kept out of reach of children.
_ All medicines are out of reach of children and stored in child-proof containers.
_ Lights are turned on and labels are read before taking any medicine.

Attic and Basement
_ Ladder is strong, solid, and sturdily constructed.
_ Stairway is sturdy and well lighted.
_ Children keep skates and play gear in a specific place.
_ Walls and beams are free from protruding nails.
_ Fuses and circuit breakers are the proper size.
_ Rubbish and flammable materials are kept in covered metal cans until they’re disposed of.
_ Wastepaper is kept away from the furnace and stairs (stacked neatly in a box or bag) and clear of possible basement seepage while awaiting disposal.

Living Room and Dining Room
_ Furniture is placed to allow free passage.
_ Furniture and woodwork are solid, in good repair, and free from splinters and rough spots.
_ Fireplace screen fits snugly.
_ Rugs are fastened or laid on nonskid pads.
_ Rugs are kept from curling at the edges.
_ Fire in fireplace is extinguished at bedtime.
_ Candles are in stable holders and carefully extinguished after use and before bedtime or leaving home.

Bedroom
_ Smoke alarm has a fresh battery or secure electrical connections and is tested regularly.
_ Carbon monoxide detector has a fresh battery or secure electrical connections and is tested regularly.
_ Furniture is placed to allow clear passage between the bed and the door to avoid collisions in the dark.
_ Light switch or lamp is within easy reach from bed.
_ A night-light illuminates the bedroom and halls.
_ Bureau and dresser drawers are closed when not in use.
_ Bar across bunk beds to help prevent falls.
_ Children are taught not to lean against windows or window screens.
_ Low-sill windows are sturdily screened to prevent children from falling out.
_ Smoking in bed is prohibited.
_ Gas and electric heating devices are turned off at bedtime.
Stoves, Furnaces, and Heaters
_ Stoves are located away from windows to avoid setting fire to curtains.
_ Stoves and furnace pipes and flues are inspected and cleaned at least annually.
_ Gas burners are properly adjusted and free from leaks.
_ Water heater and all small gas or oil room heaters are equipped with vent pipes or flues to carry combustion gases outside the house.
_ Water heaters or boilers have a safety valve and are checked annually.
_ Flames from gas burners are protected from drafts.
_ An insulating shield protects woodwork within 18 inches of furnace, stove, or heater.
_ Burnable materials are kept well away from stoves, furnaces, and heaters.
_ An appropriate-size crescent wrench is stored near the shut-off valve of outside gas lines.

Porch, Yard, and Garage
_ Railings and banisters are sound and inspected periodically.
_ Steps and walks are kept free from ice and snow.
_ Yard and play spaces are free from holes, stones, broken glass, nail studded boards, tools, and other litter.
_ Tools and other dangerous articles are out of reach of children.
_ Dangerous products and chemicals such as antifreeze, insecticides, cleaning fluid, and lubricants are kept in the original container in locked storage areas.
_ Wires and low fences are brightly painted or marked with cloth strips to make them clearly visible.
_ Disposable materials are not burned outside.
_ Lawn mower is equipped with proper safeguards.

Workshop
_ Good ventilation exists, especially when sanding.
_ Safety goggles and/or face masks are available, with eyewash.
_ Baking soda is kept handy to neutralize acid burns.
_ All electrical tools are either grounded with three-wire plugs or clearly marked as double-insulated.
_ Work area is free of clutter, including lumber scraps and oily rags.
_ Lighting over work area is adequate.
_ All tools and accessories have a place and are in their place, except those in use on a project.
_ Guards are in place on all power tools.

Electrical Devices and Fixtures
(Hazards should be checked in all rooms where electrical fixtures are located)
_ Electrical fixtures and appliances are located and used beyond arm’s length of the sink, stove, tub, shower, or other grounded metal objects unless outlet is protected by a ground-fault interrupter.
_ No one touches electrical fixtures or appliances with wet hands or while standing on a wet floor.
_ Seldom-used electrical appliances are disconnected when not in use.
_ Household appliances are disconnected before repairs or adjustments are made.
_ Unused, open, screw-type sockets are plugged closed.
_ Frayed and worn electric cords are promptly replaced.
_ Long trailing cords are not in evidence.
_ Cords are kept out from under rugs, doors, and moveable furniture.
_ Extension cords are UA-approved and the proper wire size for the load.
_ Children are taught never to touch electric sockets or fixtures.
_ Fuses are adequate for the load and are not bypassed.
_ Circuit breakers are not overloaded.

General
(Check for these safety practices and items throughout your home)
_ Home has smoke alarm system, with at least one smoke detector in each bedroom and an additional detector in the garage.
_ Strong, rigid stepladder is kept in good repair and stored out of the way.
_ Window screens and storm windows are securely fastened.
_ Dry cleaning solutions, if used, are nonflammable and nonpoisonous, and are only used outside the home.
_ Guns are stored unloaded and in locked cases.
_ Guns and ammunition are stored separately.
_ Children are permitted to use only blunt-end scissors.
_ Clothing worn for housework is free from drooping sleeves, sashes, or frills.
_ Shoes worn for housework have low heels.
_ All shoes are in good repair.
_ Kerosene, gasoline, paint thinners, and other volatile materials are stored outside in special, clearly marked metal containers.
_ Oil mops, dust rags, painting equipment, and other oily materials are stored outside in an open metal containers.
_ Everyone turns on a light before entering a dark room.
_ Matches are extinguished before they’re thrown away.
_ Children are never permitted to play with matches.
_ Fire extinguishers are readily available.

For Emergency
_ Know the 911 emergency number (or other emergency numbers, including the fire department, police or sheriff, poison control center, and ambulance (if the 911 emergency system is not available in your area).
_ Know the location of water, gas, and electric shutoffs, and be sure each is checked at least once a year.
_ Have a first aid kit approved by your doctor or the American Red Cross and supplies replenished as needed.
_ Know basic first aid procedures.
_ Have a fire escape plan from your home.
_ Have emergency water supplies stored in your home in case the primary water supply fails.
_ Have handheld flashlights readily available for emergency use, night and day.
_ Know how to get emergency help for any member of your family (The 911 phone number will summon emergency help in most areas).
_ Have available the phone number of your local poison control center (911 phone number will help in this, too).
_ In earthquake-prone areas, make sure that the water heater and bookcases are bolted to the walls.