100 Tips to Make a Home Safer

Safety doesn’t take a lot of time, but it does take thought and planning. Not sure how to Commit a Minute to Safety? Pick one, 10 or 100 of the things below and get started today. You’ll see that sometimes it just takes a minute to avoid what could be a lifetime of regret.

  • Test each smoke alarm in your home
  • Replace the batteries in each smoke alarm
  • Count how many smoke alarms you have in your house. If you do not have one on every level and near sleeping areas, purchase additional smoke alarms
  • Designate an outside meeting place for your family (for example: the mailbox) in case of a fire or emergency
  • Blow out candles before leaving the room or going to sleep
  • Use a sturdy candle holder or hurricane lamp
  • Turn down your hot water heater to 120 degrees or less to prevent burns
  • Roll up your sleeves before you start cooking
  • Have oven mitts nearby when cooking
  • Turn pot handles toward the back of the stove
  • Store all matches and lighters out of reach of children
  • Put hot food and drinks near the center of the table only
  • Put down your hot drink when carrying your baby
  • Test hot water with an elbow before allowing a child to touch
  • Post your fire escape plan on your refrigerator
  • Put water on cigarette butts before throwing them away
  • Unplug small appliances such as hair dryers and toasters after using them
  • Use flameless candles
  • Move anything that can burn, such as dish towels, at least three feet away from the stove
  • Practice “Stop, Drop and Roll” with your kids
  • Schedule an appointment to have your furnace cleaned and inspected
  • Look for the UL Mark when you buy appliances
  • Tell kids to stay away from the stove/oven
  • Turn space heaters off before going to bed
  • Remove any gasoline from your home
  • Put non-slip strips in your tub and shower
  • Install night lights in the hallway
  • Put a flashlight in each bedroom
  • Wipe up spills as soon as they happen to prevent slips and falls
  • Use a sturdy Christmas tree stand
  • Water your Christmas tree every day
  • Keep your Christmas tree at least three feet away from any heat source
  • Inspect your Christmas lights for signs of damage
  • Flip over large buckets so water cannot accumulate and become a drowning danger
  • Store cleaners and other poisons away from food
  • Post the Poison Control hotline number (1-800-222-1222) next to your phone
  • If you have young children, use cabinet locks on cabinets that have poisons such as antifreeze, cleaners, detergents, etc.
  • Keep medicine in its original containers
  • Purchase a carbon monoxide detector for your home
  • Test your carbon monoxide (CO) alarm
  • Put your infant to sleep on his/her back
  • Remove any soft bedding, stuffed animals and pillows from your infant’s crib
  • Cut your toddler’s food into small bites
  • Use safety straps on high chairs and changing tables
  • Check www.recalls.gov to see if any items in your home (including cribs) have been recalled
  • Move cribs away from windows
  • Use safety covers on unused electrical outlets
  • Test small toys for choking hazards – if it fits in a toilet paper roll, it’s too small
  • Remove all plastic bags from the nursery
  • Pick up any small items, such as coins or buttons, that can be choking hazards for infants and toddlers
  • Write down emergency contact information for your family and make sure everyone has these numbers
  • If young children live in or visit your home, move furniture away from windows so they don’t climb up to look out and accidentally fall
  • Tie window cords out of a child’s reach
  • Check your child’s bath water temperature (use your wrist or elbow) to make sure it is not too hot
  • Remove drawstrings from your baby’s clothing
  • Keep the toilet lid shut to prevent little fingers from getting slammed by a falling lid
  • If you have toddlers, install a toilet seat lock
  • If you have young children, install door knob covers on bathroom doors
  • Use a fireplace screen
  • Put toys away after playing
  • Don’t refer to medicine or vitamins as “candy”
  • Put on safety glasses before any DIY project
  • Put tools away after your DIY project is complete
  • Post emergency numbers near your phone
  • Pick up one new thing for your family’s emergency preparedness kit
  • Use a ladder, not a chair, when climbing to reach something
  • Use plastic instead of glass near the pool
  • Cover any spa or hot tub when it is not in use
  • Purchase a first aid kit
  • Drain the bath tub immediately after bathing
  • Remove clutter from the stairs
  • Use the handrail when you are walking up or down the stairs
  • If the power goes out, use flashlights instead of candles
  • Ask smokers to smoke outside
  • Wear proper shoes when climbing a ladder
  • Check your home for too many plugs in one socket and fix the problem
  • Install baby gates at the top and bottom of stairs if you have young children
  • Never leave food cooking unattended
  • Make sure pools or spas are properly fenced to keep out small children
  • Teach kids to tell you when they see matches or lighters
  • Turn out the lights when you leave the room
  • Unplug appliances that aren’t in use (especially in the kitchen)
  • Take your hair dryer off of the bathroom counter and store it safely
  • Check your electronics for the UL Mark
  • Identify two exits from every room with your kids in case of fire
  • Check your holiday decorations – keep breakable decorations out of reach of young children
  • Replace an old light bulb with a new energy-efficient option
  • Check the walls for loose paint chips and re-paint with low-VOC or VOC-free paint
  • Check all the outlets in your home for overloaded sockets or extension cords
  • Remove any extension cords that are pulled under rugs or tacked up
  • Place fire extinguishers in key areas of your home
  • Place an escape ladder in an upstairs room that might not have an easy exit
  • Remove any painted furniture that is pre-1978 to avoid possible lead exposure
  • Lock medications safely in a cabinet
  • Consider low-flow toilets
  • Check that all major appliances are grounded and test your GFCIs
  • Clean the lint trap and hose on your dryer
  • Check your swing set for sharp edges or dangerous S-hooks
  • Take a tour of your home from your child’s perspective looking for hazards
  • Hold a family fire drill


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