Tips for a Safer Holiday Home

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Our world is full of risk at every turn — from perilous jobs to dangerous driving conditions. This is why everyone loves to get back to their homes and not worry about everyday safety hazards. It is great to feel comfortable and safe at home, however, is it as safe as it can be?

Your home should be the place where you will be protected from harm, a safe haven. It should be a top priority, and yet every year over 1200 people or more visit the emergency room during the holiday months as a result of accidents and unintended injuries sustained from hidden dangers around the home. You can reduce the chances of lurking safety dangers for everyone who visits your home this holiday season with a sharp eye and preventative action. Here are few home safety tips for the holidays.

Good Lighting

Adequate lighting in your home can reduce the risk of tripping and falling both inside and outside, which is especially important in winters when days are shorter. Critical areas that need to be illuminated are the stairs, outdoors and foyers. Be sure your street number is also well lit and visible from the street to aid first responders to find your home. This can be fixed by making sure adequate wattage is utilized and having long-life bulbs and motion detectors in place.

Electrical Problems?

Electrical issues, such as a flickering light or a dead outlet, may seem like mild annoyances but they can actually signal serious dangers. If not addressed promptly, a faulty electrical system can result in house fires and shocks. If you are experiencing any issues with your electricity, contact a professional right away. In your daily life, make sure electrical cords are not frayed or pierced and extension cords are securely connected as well. Make sure not to run too many cords to a single outlet. Small appliances, space heaters and power tools should be unplugged when not in use.

Do Routine Cleaning

Not maintaining your appliances regularly can lead to a greater chance of accidental home fires. However, this can be avoided by doing simple tasks regularly such as cleaning grease off your stovetop, emptying the lint trap on your dryer and keeping your chimney clean and clear.

Smoke and Gas Detectors

Every home needs functional warning devices that detect smoke and gases. When purchasing smoke alarms, ensure they also detect carbon monoxide, a deadly gas that is particularly dangerous because it is colorless and odorless. Batteries should be replaced every six months—or whenever you change your clocks. Also, an emergency evacuation plan should be created, as well as preparedness kit built and safety drills practices regularly with your family to ensure awareness of procedures.

Secure Your Home

While many homes now have the latest technological advancements, they still rely on locks and hardware from decades ago to keep you safe from intruders. This can be fixed by doing an audit of all entry points to your home—doors, windows and screens, etc. If any of these entry points do not have secure screens, locks and deadbolts, have them installed. For those that do already have door knobs, handles and locks, make sure they are in good working condition.

When You Are Away

While we all enjoy long weekends and out-of-town vacations, unfortunately, that leaves your home vulnerable to intruders. If you are leaving your home for the holidays, create an illusion that someone may still be there. Consider leaving a TV or stereo on in the room where a burglar would most likely break in. You can also have a neighbor pick up mail and the daily paper. Phone ringers should be turned down, blinds should be kept drawn and unsecured valuables should not be left in the home even if you think they are well-hidden. Never hide keys around the home or garden, and don’t leave notes on the door that suggest you are out of town.

Household Repairs

Even if you are an expert and know your way around electrical, plumbing, car or other household repairs, proceed with caution. A poor repair can result in disaster. If you are unsure, call a professional.

Vehicle Caution

Keep in mind that there is danger even before you drive on the street. If you are backing your vehicle up, watch out for children and pets on the sidewalk and road. Be cautious and proceed slowly when driving cars in and out of your driveway. If your driveway does not have good visibility in both directions, walk down and look both directions before you get in your vehicle.

Make it Safe for Visitors

If you are hosting friends or family in your home, consider what additional safety challenges they may encounter. Put yourself in the shoes of a small child and look for low, hard edges, sharp edges, easy-to-open cabinets with chemicals and cleaning agents. Also, look for falling and tripping hazards that may fell seniors.

Brace Yourself

Heavy objects are rarely braced in the home. Appliances, artwork, televisions and aquariums can present real hazards if they are knocked down by a person or a natural disaster. Consider strapping and bracing heavy objects and using security hardware for large artwork.

Uncover Hidden Dangers

If your home was built before the late seventies, there is likely lead in the paint under the top coats on your walls and windows, and there might be traces in the varnish used on many hardware floors. Additionally, asbestos can be frequently be found in insulation and “popcorn” ceiling features. Hiring a licensed contractor to test for possible contaminants and remove them safely, especially prior to a remodel and reduce the risk of hidden dangers in your home.

Mother Nature

While your homeowners insurance will cover in you in many cases, you may not be insured against natural disasters like earthquakes, floods, tornadoes and hurricanes? They usually require an additional policy. Be sure to contact your insurance agent to ensure you have adequate replacement coverage as home values escalate and coverage amounts can stay static. Discuss the costs for adding disaster polices for the natural disaster most likely to hit your area. Lastly, having a disaster and communication plan can minimize the risks.

 

These are just a few tips for a safer holiday home. We hope you have a safe and happy holidays! Don’t hesitate to contact us here at DBL Real Estate with the link below for more information!

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