Home Safety Checklist for Building Safety Month
May is National Building Safety Month. As we transition into the warmer months, it’s important to be aware of some of the main hazards in and around the home, including your air conditioning and HVAC system.
Home safety is our #1 priority at Pacific Heating & Cooling. Here is a home safety checklist you can use to keep your home and household free of harm and hazard.
Home Safety Checklist
Prevent Slips and Falls
Keep walking areas clear of tripping hazards.
Remove all papers, books, clothes, shoes, cords, and other piles of stuff from your stairs and other high-traffic areas. Make sure you clear your walking areas of stuff to prevent dangerous falls.
Additionally, avoid running cords across doorways and under rugs. Not only is this a tripping hazard, it’s also a fire hazard.
In the winter, make sure your sidewalks, walkways, and stairways are clear of ice and snow.
Make sure there are lights along walking paths (both inside and outside the home)
Use night-lights to light up the path from your bedroom to the bathroom. You should also have lights lining all of the outside walkways to prevent tripping hazards.
Outdoor steps, porches, doors, patios, and decks should be well lit for safety and security. Make sure there aren’t any heavy shadow areas that might attract intruders.
Turn on the lights before going up or down stairs.
Do you turn on the lights before heading up or down the stairs? Ask your electrician about installing a second set of light switches at the top and bottom of the stairs so you can turn them back off once you reach the top or bottom. This only involves installing one extra light switch. It’s easy and definitely worth it.
Make sure all of your light switches are easily reachable from the doorway.
If your light switches are in an inconvenient, odd, or counterintuitive, ask your electrician to move the light switches or install new ones.
Are there grab bars/support rails in the baths, showers, and near toilets?
Grab bars in the bathroom are especially important if there are senior citizens in the household. Either way, they are a good way to prevent slips and falls for people of any age.
Never use towel racks or shower rods for support since they are not designed to support a lot of weight. If you grab on to your towel rack or shower rod for support, most likely you will fall and cause damage to your bathroom at the same time.
Wipe up liquids right away.
If you spill something, wipe it up as soon as possible. Even just a few drops of grease or liquid can cause a slip and fall.
Smooth out rugs and carpets.
In addition to smoothing out folds and wrinkles in your carpeting, consider adding tape and grippers to the back of your rugs. Home improvement stores usually carry specific tape and non-skid backings for the purpose of preventing rug slips.
If your carpeting is wrinkled, worn, or damaged, repair or replace it.
Make sure there are hand rails on both sides of the stairs.
Sturdy, easy-to-grip handrails on both sides of the stairs are important for preventing falls on stairs.
Install smoke detectors on every level of the home and outside all sleeping areas.
There should be working smoke detectors inside of every bedroom, outside of every sleeping area, and on every level of the home. Ask your electrician about interconnected alarms so if one sounds they all go off.
If there is anyone in the household who is hard of hearing, inquire about smoke detectors with bed shakers and strobe lights.
Test smoke alarms monthly and replace all smoke alarms after 10 years.
Set calendar and phone reminders to test all of your smoke alarms every 30 days. All you have to do is press down on the test button and wait for the alarm to sound. Change smoke detector batteries at least once a year. A chirping sound from your smoke alarm indicates that it’s time to change the batteries. Replace all smoke alarms when they are 10 years old.
When you replace your smoke detectors, choose ones that combine ionization and photoelectric sensors. Ionization alarms are better for detecting fast-flame fires while photoelectric alarms are better at detecting smoldering fires. It’s a good idea to have both.
Learn essential smoke alarm and heating safety.
Air Conditioning and Fan Safety
According to the National Fire Protection Association, “In 2010, air conditioning, fans or related equipment were involved in an estimated 7,400 reported U.S. home structure fires, with associated losses of 29 civilian deaths, 249 civilian injuries and $207 million in direct property damage.”
The cause behind these fires are mostly mechanical and electrical.
Avoid a home fire due to faulty fans and air conditioners by following these tips from the NFPA:
- Select and install cooling equipment for safety and effectiveness.
- Use electric-powered equipment safely, in accordance with manufacturer’s instructions.
- Inspect and maintain electric-powered equipment regularly for safety.
- Make sure your equipment has the label showing that it is listed by a recognized testing laboratory.
Get peace of mind and peak performance by scheduling your air conditioning maintenance appointment today.
For the best HVAC service in the Pacific Northwest, call Pacific Heating & Cooling at 253.292.3995 for 24/7 service.
Since 1984, we’ve been proudly serving our communities in Federal Way, Graham, Spanaway, University Place, Steilacoom, Sumner, Lakewood, Puyallup, Tacoma and Gig Harbor.