When we think of home we think of a safe haven, a place of acceptance and safety. As our lives get more hectic it’s easy to forget or overlook some of the little things that can make home a safer place. Here are some suggestions to help you make your home safer.
10 WAYS TO MAKE YOUR HOME SAFE
1. Keep the wall sockets covered. Baby-proofing a home always includes covering the wall sockets; however, as kids begin to get older it’s easy to forget to keep them covered. Use horizontal sliding-door socket covers. These provide protection for kids and ease for you. Young scientists are curious about sticking hairpins or screwdrivers in sockets to see what happens. Keeping sockets covered is less likely to draw their attention to the possibility of “What if . . . ”
2. Secure your flat-screen TV. Back in the day, televisions were formidable objects to move. Unless located on a precarious surface, the chances of one crashing down were slim. Today’s flat-screen TVs are much lighter and easier to move and therefore easier to fall. Make sure your TV is secured so it can’t fall. The hardware is cheap and installation only takes a few minutes.
3. Be aware of water safety in the home. When toddlers are around, keep the toilet seat cover down and locked. Little ones have drowned falling into open toilets. The same is true of unattended buckets of water and bathtubs with water in them. A small child can drown in a few inches of water, so be sure your home has no water hazards.
4. Use nightlights. Besides being scary for many kids, dark rooms and hallways can cause trips and falls. A nightlight will eliminate the darkness just enough to make those trips to the bathroom safe. They are more economical than you think, and the little bit extra could save you from a costly accident.
5. Secure electrical cords. With so many electronics in use these days it’s not unusual to see tangles of cords hanging off tables and desks going here and there. The cords pose a hazard for tripping and they pose a hazard for smaller kids who may get tangled up and strangled. You can choose from a variety of cord-minders to get your cords untangled, organized and out of the way.
6. Use wireless baby monitors. If you are going to listen in on your littlest ones, opt for cordless monitors. Hand-me-downs are great, but not when it comes to corded monitors. Babies can grab the monitor cords and get tangled in them, sometimes with tragic results.
7. Practice fire safety. Are the batteries in your smoke detectors good? If not, don’t put off replacing them. Do it now. Keep matches and lighters out of reach. Even school aged kids are vulnerable to the temptation of experimenting with fire. Consider practicing family fire drills. Create a plan so everyone knows what to do should a fire break out. Teach kids that stop, drop and roll is only used when clothes catch fire. Young kids may get confused, and this maneuver could actually put them in danger if they do it when they hear a smoke alarm sound and need to get out quickly.
8. Check carpet edges around doorways and entrances. Frayed or loose carpet edges in doorways are a problem. If it’s going to be a while before the carpet is replaced secure the edges so kids won’t trip on them. If you use a throw rug, make sure it’s secure; a bunched-up throw rug is just as hazardous as a loose carpet edge.
9. Lock up firearms. Many households have firearms and most of them are under lock and key. Keep all firearms and ammunition secured, even your personal emergency weapon. You can get a quick-access gun safe for your personal firearm. Kids may not understand the real danger of a gun and be tempted to play with it.
10. Lock down drawers and cabinets. When you have small children, even though it may be an inconvenience to you, locking down drawers and cabinets with dangerous items is an important safety measure. Cleaning solutions are a major poisoning hazard for kids so keep them out of sight and locked away.
William J. Bennett once said, “Home is a shelter from storms – all sorts of storms.” Today’s world is full of a variety of storms, so make sure home is as safe as it can be.