Home Safety Check
So I think its safe to admit (and you have probably figured this out already) that I’m slightly paranoid. I don’t see to-do’s. I see hazards. Luckily my wonderful husband is more sane than I am and brings me back towards reality, and hopefully the balance will give our children a fighting chance at a normal life.
This being said we are both passionate about preparedness and safety first. With 4 (soon to be 5) kids this is a necessary really. Therefore we felt the perfect family night activity this week would be to conduct a home safety check with our kids. This happens to be a requirement for the cub scout citizenship pin, in case you’re interested in scouting.
A home safety check is like a scavenger hunt for kids. They get to run around the house looking for things. Better yet they can come back and tell mom and dad what they are doing wrong! Kids love these opportunities and I think they’re healthy for a balanced parental relationship.
My favorite part is the opportunity to teach them the why’s behind a lot of our instructions, particularly the ones they hate – like “clean your room.” They see safety in action and when seen in the scope of their home the actions (or lack thereof) suddenly makes sense.
Today I’m going to share with you our home safety checklist, along with a few additions that I made based on my emergency preparedness research. The original list is from the scout worksheet for the requirement. I will also share some of our family’s fails (in picture) because a good dose of humility goes along way.
Besides we all have something we need to work on, and I don’t want anyone to feel overwhelmed. We all have a to-do list and preparedness is a lifestyle that you have to conscientiously maintain. Sometimes life happens and we fall behind. So take heart we are doing this together.
Check the safety steps that are being taken in your home. Write N/A if the item is not applicable. Items left blank may present a safety hazard. Be sure to make a note of what you need to fix, and set a date to do so. And remember there may be somethings that you just can’t fix. That’s what prayer is for.
Lastly don’t skip a section just because you don’t think it applies to your home, you may be surprised the item may be located somewhere else (e.g., you may not have a workshop but your tools and rags may be in your laundry room).
Stairways, Halls, and Outdoor Steps Home Safety Check
- ___ Stairways with three or more steps have a strong handrail.
- ___ Stairs/halls are kept free from boxes, toys, brooms, tools, etc.
- ___ 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 & halls have good lighting, controllable at each end.
Kitchen Home Safety Check
- ___ Matches are kept where children cannot get them.
- ___ Knives & sharp instruments are kept in knife drawers or holder.
- ___ Can openers don’t leave sharp edges on cans.
- ___ Disinfectants & cleaning products are 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.
? Din You Know? A general use fire extinguisher for fires on a tabletop or in the attic is not recommended to put out a grease fire as it can dissipate the grease and further spread the flame. Check out the link for my post on fire extinguisher safety and the various types of fire extinguishers that you should be using in your home.
Bathroom Home Safety Check
- ___ Tub and shower are equipped with strong handholds.
- ___ Tub floor has non-slip surface.
- ___ Poisons are marked, sealed shut, and out of reach of children.
- ___ Medicines are out of reach of children in childproof containers.
- ___ No one takes medicine in the dark.
Attic and Basement Home Safety Check
- ___ 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 or circuit breakers are the proper size.
- ___ Rubbish & flammable materials are in covered metal cans.
- ___ Wastepaper is kept away from furnace and stairs.
Living Room and Dining Room Home Safety Check
- ___ Furniture is placed to allow easy passage in an emergency.
- ___ Before bedtime, furniture placement is checked for orderliness.
- ___ Furniture and woodwork solid, in good repair.
- ___ Fireplace screen fits snugly.
- ___ Rugs are fastened or laid on non-slip pads.
- ___ Rugs are kept from curling at their edges.
- ___ Wax on floors is thoroughly buffed.
- ___ Fire in fireplace is extinguished at bedtime.
- ___ Candles are in stable holders and fully extinguished after use.
- ___ Museum Putty for objects on shelves to prevent falling
Bedroom Home Safety Check
- ___ Smoke alarm has fresh battery or electrical connection & is tested regularly.
- ___ Carbon monoxide detector has fresh battery or electrical connection and is tested regularly.
- ___ Furniture placement for clear passage between bed and door.
- ___ Light switch or lamp is within easy reach from bed.
- ___ A night-light illuminates bedroom or hall.
- ___ Bureau and dresser drawers are closed when not in use.
- ___ Bar across bunk beds helps prevent falls.
- ___ Children are taught not to lean against windows or screens.
- ___ Sturdily screen low windows to prevent children from falling.
- ___ Smoking in bed is prohibited.
- ___ Gas and electric heating devices are turned off at bedtime.
Nursery Room Home Safety Check
- ___ Bars on cribs are closely spaced.
- ___ Crib is approved by Consumer Products or similar.
- ___ Crib is free from sharp edges or corners.
- ___ Sleeping garments and covers keep baby warm without danger of smothering.
- ___ Pillows are kept out of bassinet or crib.
- ___ No thin, plastic material is in or near the crib.
- ___ Children are taught not to give marbles, etc. to younger children.
- ___ Toys are sturdy & have no sharp edges.
- ___ Nontoxic paint is used on baby furniture and toys.
- ___ All houseplants are nonpoisonous.
Stoves, Furnaces, and Heaters Home Safety Check
- ___ Stoves are away from curtains.
- ___ Stoves & furnaces are inspected & cleaned annually.
- ___ Gas burners are properly adjusted and free from leaks.
- ___ Gas water and space heaters are equipped with vents or flues.
- ___ Water heater or boiler has a safety valve & is checked yearly.
- ___ Flames of gas burners are protected from drafts.
- ___ Insulating shield protects woodwork within 18″ of furnaces, etc.
- ___ Keep flammable materials away from stoves, furnaces, etc.
- ___ A wrench is stored near the shut-off valve of outside gas line.
Porch, Yard, and Garage Home Safety Check
- ___ Railings and banisters are sound and inspected periodically.
- ___ Steps and walks are kept free from ice and snow.
- ___ Yard/play space are free from holes, stones, glass, etc.
- ___ Tools and dangerous articles are out of reach of children.
- ___ Dangerous products & chemicals are kept in original containers in locked storage areas.
- ___ Wires and low fences are brightly painted or clearly marked.
- ___ Wells, cisterns, and pits are kept securely covered.
- ___ Disposable materials are not burned outside.
- ___ An area is marked off in the garage for bicycles, wagons, etc.
- ___ Lawn mower is equipped with proper safeguards.
Workshop Home Safety Check
- ___ Good ventilation exists, especially when sanding.
- ___ Safety goggles and/or face mask are available, with eyewash.
- ___ Baking soda is kept handy to neutralize acid burns.
- ___ All electrical tools are either three-wire or double-insulated.
- ___ Work area is well lit & free of clutter, scraps, rags.
- ___ All tools have a place & are in their place.
- ___ Guards are in place on all power tools.
- ___ A push stick is available for use with power saws.
Electrical Devices and Fixtures Home Safety Check
- ___ Electrical fixtures and appliances are located & used beyond arm’s length of the sink, stove, tub, shower, or other grounded metal unless outlet is protected by a ground-fault interrupter.
- ___ Do not touch electrical fixtures or appliances with wet hands.
- ___ Disconnect seldom-used appliances when not in use.
- ___ All pull-type sockets have an insulating link.
- ___ Household appliances are disconnected before repairs.
- ___ Unused, open, screw-type sockets are plugged closed.
- ___ Frayed or worn electric cords are promptly replaced.
- ___ Long trailing cords are not in evidence.
- ___ Cords are kept out from under rugs, doors, and furniture.
- ___ UA-approved extension cords are the proper size.
- ___ 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.
- ___ Area in front of outlets are clear of clutter
General Home Safety Check
- ___ At least one smoke detector in each bedroom & garage.
- ___ Everything has a place and is in its place.
- ___ Stepladders are in good repair and stored out of the way.
- ___ Window screens and storm windows are securely fastened.
- ___ Guns are stored unloaded and in locked cases.
- ___ Guns and ammunition are stored separately.
- ___ Children are permitted to use only blunt-end scissors.
- ___ Housework clothing has no 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 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 Home Safety Check
- ___ Know how to get emergency help 911, poison control, etc.).
- ___ Be able to find water, gas, & electric shutoffs. Check annually.
- ___ First aid kit approved by your doctor/American Red Cross.
- ___ Know basic first aid procedures.
- ___ Have a fire escape plan from your home.
- ___ Do you have an Emergency water supply.
- ___ Handheld flashlights readily available.
- ___ In earthquake-prone areas, make sure that the water heater and bookcases are bolted to the walls.
- ___ Upstairs bedrooms have an emergency escape ladder.
Related read: How to Prepare for an Earthquake
Extra Home Security Tips
Besides fires, quakes, floods, tornadoes, home invasion is a home security threat you shouldn’t be taking lightly. Fortunately, there are some steps you can take to keep evil doers at bay.
- Be wary of strangers. If you’re home alone and somebody unexpectedly knocks on your door, check to see who it is and if you do open the door make sure that you can wirelessly prompt your home security system in an instant to call for help.
- Keep a low profile. Don’t let potential home intruders know what your home looks like, what your assets might be, and who is at home and when. Especially, if you’re a hardcore prepper, don’t let everyone know how big your emergency food stash is, where you store your water, and other details that might tempt some people to break into your house when situation gets desperate. Also, if you’re a vlogger that wants to share with other people their knowledge in all things prepping, don’t disclose your exact location and not even your or your loved ones identity (you might have found those prepping videos with their authors carefully hiding their identities but still managing to get their message across).
- Don’t put all your eggs in one basket. In other words, don’t keep all you valuables in one place. You can invest in a home safe or, even better, rent a safety deposit box at your nearest bank for those valuables you’re not currently using. Also, you could hide your extra valuables in your car or other places on your property that makes it harder for burglars to find in the heat of the home invasion.
- Make friends with your neighbor. One hand washes the other – don’t shy away from asking your neighbor for small favors and returning those favors. You could be asking a friendly neighbor to keep a spare key to your home, to get your mail when you’re off on vacation in order not to draw attention that you’re gone, or to keep an eye on your home and yard when you’re away.
- Keep the exterior lighting and motion sensors on when you’re away from home to lower the risk of a burglar going undetected.