You can certainly find professionals that will enter your home and start pointing out safety issues. But whether you live on your own, your household is full of children, or you’ve brought elderly parents to live with you, it’s imperative that you take steps to ensure that the people living in your home are safe, happy, and healthy. And there are a number of things you’ll want to look for when it comes to conducting your own home safety inspection. Here are a few tips to help you perform this type of home inspection on your own.
The place to start is by going through your home from top to bottom to spot potential health and safety issues. In your kitchen, fire is the obvious concern, thanks to cooking. But fire is really a valid concern throughout your home since it can spread. For this reason you should install smoke detectors in every room in the house, as well as fire extinguishers as needed. And you might also want to add safety locks to the knobs on the stove if you have small kids in the house that are curious and like to grab things. Planning what to do in the event of a fire (or other natural disaster scenario) is also wise.
Another major issue that tops the list for home safety hazards is trip and fall scenarios, and these can occur in areas with loose rugs, on stairs, and out of upper story windows. Luckily, most slip and fall accidents are easily preventable. Baby gates can be used to keep small children out of areas they should steer clear of, and there are products designed for windows to ensure that toddlers don’t go tumbling out. You can also add grip to slippery areas like the shower, under rugs, and on the stairs thanks to a variety of suitable products. And if you don’t have hand rails, now is the time to add them.
Chemicals can also be dangerous, and it’s in the best interest of everyone in your household to remove them when possible. This could mean simply ridding your home of the harshest toxins, including items like oven cleaner, pesticides (like Raid), and aerosol hairspray. But you might go so far as to switch to green cleaners, opt for all organic and natural cosmetics, toiletries, and pest deterrents, and even use non-VOC paint products the next time you decide to alter the look of your interior design.
Of course, not all harmful substances can be seen or smelled, which is why you should equip your home with a CO sensor. Carbon monoxide is called the silent killer because it is a colorless, odorless gas that can come from car exhaust, your furnace, and so on, harming inhabitants without warning. A CO sensor provides that warning in the form of an alarm when levels get dangerously high.
In truth, your HVAC system could also be a source of danger, especially if it isn’t properly cleaned and maintained. If, for example, you have condensation in your ductwork, mold could be growing and then getting blown around your house every time you crank the thermostat. Mold can cause a variety of respiratory and skin problems, but it can also be lethal, especially for children and the elderly. You could always switch to ductless air conditioning to avoid such issues (or at least make them easier to address), but proper cleaning and maintenance is a good strategy to start with.