Home Safety Checklist
Accidents, injuries, and fires can occur anywhere in your home when safety guidelines are ignored. Something as simple as a marble left on a stair or spilled water by the bathtub can mean a broken arm or worse.
Use these checklists to make your home a safer place for your family.
- Matches and lighters are stored out of the reach of children.
- Matches and cigarettes are completely extinguished.
- Never leave a candle unattended.
- Do not smoke in bed.
- Smoke alarms are located on each level of the home and outside each bedroom.
- Test smoke alarms monthly and change batteries once a year.
- Fire extinguishers are readily available and family is trained to use them.
- Space heaters are placed in open areas and not left on when the house is vacant.
- Check electric cords and plugs for wear.
- Do not overload outlets.
- Do not run wiring or cords under rugs, over nails or in high traffic areas.
- Store flammable liquids in labeled, tightly closed, non-glass containers away from heaters, furnaces, water heaters and other sources of heat. Store out of the reach of children.
- Inspect and clean flue pipes, vent connectors, gas vents and chimneys in the fall.
- Use a fire screen in front of the fireplace.
- Extinguish fireplace fire before going to bed.
- A metal container with a tight fitting lid is used for ash removal.
- Keep the area above the stove free of flammable and combustible items.
- Keep yard clear of leaves, debris and combustible rubbish.
- Never leave cooking unattended.
- Short or snug fitting sleeves are worn while cooking so they won't catch on fire.
- Kitchen countertop appliances are turned off and unplugged when not in use.
- Turn pot handles on the stove inward so they are not easily hit.
- Set water heater temperature to no more than 120 degrees Fahrenheit to preven scalding.
- Stairs, hallways and exit paths are kept cleared.
- Doors and windows can be easily opened.
- Lint is removed from the dryer filter after each load.
- Make your house number easily visible from the road to aid emergency response teams.
- Keep beds away from windows that may break in the event of an earthquake or falling trees.
- Do not place beds directly under shelves, hanging lights, mirrors, framed pictures that may fall.
- Use light-weight lamps by beds rather than heavy ones that may fall on sleepers.
- Only hang small pots of plants. Keep heavier pots on the floor.
- Move heavy or breakable objects to lowest shelves or put in latched cabinets.
- Use latches rather than magnetic catches on cabinets that contain breakable, valuable items.
- Move breakable items in medicine cabinets to locked child-proof drawers.
- Use plastic bottles instead of glass around the bathtub and kitchen.
- Keep heavy objects away from exit routes so they do not shift and block escape.
- Block wheels on rolling objects such as furniture, stereo, cabinets so they stay put.
- Remove dead or weak limbs from trees. Trim trees away from the house.
- Have screens and shades on all windows. Lower the shades to help isolate glass when the window breaks.
- Check that all roofing is secure.
General Safety Checks
Stairways, Halls, and Outdoor Steps
- Stairways with three or more steps have a strong handrail.
- Stairways and halls are kept free from boxes, toys, mops, brooms, tools, and other tripping hazards.
- 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 and halls have adequate lights with switches at each end.
- Knives and sharp instruments are kept in a special knife drawer or holder out of reach of children.
- Use ne can openers that don't leave sharp edges on cans.
- Cleaning products are kept 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.
- Tub and shower are equipped with strong handholds.
- Tub floor has non-slip surface.
- Poisons are clearly marked, sealed shut with tape, and kept out of reach of children.
- All medicines are out of reach of children and stored in child-proof containers.
- Do not take medicine in the dark; lights are turned on and labels read.
Attic and Basement
- 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 and flammable materials are kept in covered metal cans until they're disposed of.
Living Room and Dining Room
- Furniture is positioned to allow easy exit.
- Furniture and woodwork is in good repair and free from splinters.
- Fireplace screen fits snugly.
- Rugs are fastened or laid on nonslip pads and kept from curling at their edges.
- Install carbon monoxide detectors and test regularly.
- Furniture is placed to allow clear exit to avoid collisions in the dark.
- 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 window screens.
- Low-sill windows are sturdily screened to prevent children from falling out.
- Heating devices are turned off at bedtime.
- Bars on crib are closely spaced so baby cannot slip head between them.
- Crib is approved by Consumer Products or similar consumer-safety group.
- Crib is free from sharp edges or corners.
- Sleeping garments and covers keep baby warm without danger of smothering or strangling.
- 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, jacks, or other small toys to younger children.
- Toys are sturdy, do not come apart readily, and have no sharp edges or points.
- Nontoxic paint is used on baby furniture and toys.
- All houseplants are nonpoisonous.
Stoves, Furnaces, and Heaters
- Stoves are located away from windows to avoid setting fire to curtains.
- Gas burners are properly adjusted and free from leaks.
- Water heater and all small room heaters are equipped with vent pipes to carry combustion gases outside the house.
- Water heater has a safety valve and is checked annually.
- Flames of gas burners are protected from drafts.
- An insulating shield protects woodwork within 18 inches of furnace, stove, or heater.
- An appropriate fitting wrench is stored near the shut-off valve of outside gas line.
Porch, Yard, and Garage
- Railings and bannisters are inspected annually.
- Steps and walks are kept free from ice and snow.
- Yard and play space are free from holes, stones, broken glass, and other litter.
- Tools and other dangerous articles are out of reach of children.
- Chemicals such as antifreeze, insecticides, cleaning fluid, and lubricants are kept in the original container in locked storage areas.
- Wires and low fences are brightly painted or marked with cloth strips to make them clearly visible.
- Wells and pits are kept securely covered.
- Disposable materials are not burned outside.
- An area is marked off in the garage for bicycles, wagons, and other small vehicles.
- Good ventilation, especially when sanding.
- Safety goggles and face masks are available.
- Baking soda is kept handy to neutralize acid burns.
- All electrical tools are either grounded with three-wire plugs or clearly marked as double-insulated.
- Work area is free of clutter, including lumber scraps and oily rags.
- Lighting over work area is adequate.
- All tools and accessories have a place and are in their place.
- Guards are in place on all power tools.
- A push stick is used with power saws.
Electrical Devices and Fixtures
- Electrical fixtures and appliances are located and used beyond arm's length of the sink, stove, tub, shower, or other grounded metal objects unless outlet is protected by a ground-fault interrupter.
- Do not touch electrical fixtures or appliances with wet hands or while standing on a wet floor.
- Seldom-used electrical appliances are disconnected when not in use.
- All pull-type sockets have an insulating link.
- Household appliances are disconnected before repairs or adjustments are made.
- Unused, open, screw-type sockets are plugged closed.
- Frayed and worn electric cords are promptly replaced.
- Long trailing cords are not in evidence.
- Extension cords are UA-approved and the proper wire size for the load.
- 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.
- Strong, rigid stepladder is kept in good repair and available.
- Window screens and storm windows are securely fastened.
- Guns are stored unloaded and in locked cases.
- Guns and ammunition are stored separately.
- 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.
- Know the local emergency numbers.
- Know the location of water, gas, and electric shutoffs.
- Have a first aid kit and supplies replenished as needed.
- Know basic first aid procedures.
- Have a fire escape plan from your home.
- Have emergency water supplies stored in your home.
- Have handheld flashlights readily available for emergency use.
- Have available phone number of local poison control center.