The home is where many of us spend much of our time away from work, school, or other obligations. It’s where we retreat to spend time with our families, have a warm meal after a long day, and regroup to prepare for the coming days.
It’s important to feel as comfortable as possible in your home. This requires proper evaluation of the hazards and potential trouble areas that could arise. To stay on top of this, you can use a home safety assessment. This is a checklist style system that allows you to see how the home is performing, where trouble lies, and have a physical (or internet Cloud) based tally of all the happenings in your house.
Every homeowner will have different needs. Those with younger children, older adults, or family members with disabilities may have unique issues in the home that need to be accounted for. It’s important to consider all of the variables that could arise in the home:
The Home Assessment
Start by taking a look at the basics. Are there any repairs that need to be done? Are there any clusters of items that can be tripped over? Do hallways have sufficient space for older adults? And what about those kids — what dangers are present for them in the home?
Legg Mason and Care Givers Stress are two of the best resources on the web when it comes to home safety assessments. Their checklists can be printed out and referenced, or simply used online. Here are some of the major notes to remember during your assessment:
General Home Safety
- Install handrails on both sides of stairways, inside and outside of the home.
- Make sure doorways are wide enough for people on walkers and wheelchairs.
- Build ramps for those who use walkers and wheelchairs.
- Install non-slip pads in the bathroom and remove rugs from the house so people won’t slip and fall.
- Install grab bars in the shower.
- Make sure rugs don’t create a tripping hazard, like torn carpet or jumbled materials.
- Clean debri and clutter like toys, tools and other objects that build-up in the home.
- Clear walkways and the floor of tangled cords.
- Install adequate lighting in the home. Especially the bedroom, living room, and hallways.
- Install working CO and smoke detectors.
- Properly store all dangerous chemicals in the kitchen and bathroom away from children and older adults
- Have emergency contact information in easy to reach places, like kitchen, living room, and in everyone’s phones.
These are some general safety tips that will help you feel comfortable in your house. If you have older adults or younger kids in the home with disabilities or impairments, your best resource will be an occupational therapist. They can help craft a plan that is specifically catered to your needs based on your health concerns. Consult with one or simply place a call for a simple questionnaire.
Remember, everyone has different needs. Consult with the right channels for any questions you may have about home safety. Whether that’s doctors, repairmen, or other professionals.
Use assessment checklists, but know that some of the issues that arise for you may not arise in checklists or for other people. Consider all the variables unique to you and build your plan around them.