Cheryl Phelan - Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage - Plymouth

Posted by Cheryl Phelan on 1/31/2018

Even though most people would consider family safety to be a top priority, few have gone to the trouble of actually printing out or creating a home safety checklist. It's really not that much trouble, though, because the information you need is readily available on the Internet, at your local library, and through your insurance agent. With so many different aspects of home safety to be aware of, a detailed, categorized list can help you focus your attention on what needs to be checked, cleaned, replaced, fixed, or upgraded. A Word About Landlines vs Cell Phones The widespread use of cellphones has caused an increasing number of home owners to cancel their landline telephone service. While this may seem like a smart way to save money and reduce telemarketing calls, it also raises some safety issues. In an emergency, for example, the last thing you want to be doing is frantically searching for a misplaced cellphone. Another issue to think about is the fact that mobile phones often need to be recharged on a daily basis -- sometimes at the most inopportune times. Although cellphones are an indispensable part of most people's lives, they're far from infallible. For this reason, maintaining your landline is an idea worth considering. Telephone companies may offer a budget-friendly service plan that could provide you with an emergency backup, in case your cell phones failed or couldn't be found. Organizing Your Safety Checklist There are a lot of different categories of home safety to keep in mind, so printing out a comprehensive list is an invaluable first step. Customizing the list to the needs of your household would logically come next. For example, a home with young children or elderly relatives will need age-specific safeguards to avoid accidents, injuries, and trips to the Emergency Room. Everyone's home safety checklist will vary, depending on the age of their home and its occupants. Here's a short list of some of the important items you'll want to include or seriously consider.

  • Install smoke detectors in strategic locations, and test the batteries several times a year (if not monthly). Your kitchen and bedroom areas are among the key spots in which smoke detectors need to be placed.
  • Carbon monoxide detectors are also a vital part of any home safety plan.
  • A working fire extinguisher should be available in the kitchen, as well as any other room in your home where a potential fire hazard exists. It's also a good idea to take a couple minutes to read the instructions and give members of the family a crash course on correct fire extinguisher operation.
  • Reduce the chance of chimney fires by having your fireplace and chimney professionally cleaned every couple of years. The frequency depends on several factors, including how often you use your fireplace and what type of wood you burn.
  • Miscellaneous home safety reminders: Other aspects of your plan may include burglar proofing your home, identifying and correcting potential electrical hazards, and reducing risks related to tripping, falling, and slipping.
Doing a home safety assessment is comparable to a New Year's resolution. You go into it with the best of intentions, but you don't always follow through. When it comes to keeping your home environment safe and secure for your family, however, it's never too soon to get started.

Posted by Cheryl Phelan on 8/24/2016

Despite the fact that children are injured each year by hazards inside their home, you can safety proof your home and keep your children unharmed. Talk to your children about dangers of playing with certain products or items in your home. For example, you could tell your children not to touch the stove, stick objects in electrical outlets or play near or on steps. Creating a safe home environment is fairly simple To protect toddlers and young children from falling down steps, install safety gates at the tops of steps. Ensure that the gates are properly installed and donít give way when leaned against. Also, install safety locks or latches on kitchen and bathroom cabinets that store harmful household cooking utensils, chemicals like bleaches, grill lighter fluid and heavy skillets and pans that could fall on your child. Again, test the latches to ensure that they are properly installed. Additional steps that you can take to child safety proof your kitchen include putting anti-scald covers on stove eyes and remaining in the kitchen while the stove is on. Keep pots and pans on back eyes, if possible, while the stove is on to help prevent children from accidentally bumping into pots and pans, causing hot liquids and foods to splash on them. If stoves, refrigerators and other appliances are uneven, install pads beneath them to make them even. Anchors, similar to those used in hotel rooms, can also be installed on furniture to keep furniture from toppling over should children climb atop the furniture. The United States Consumer Product Safety Commission also shares that edge bumpers can keep children from being injured should they fall against furniture. Alarms that should be in every home To protect your child from electrical shocks, place hard-to-remove covers over electrical outlets. Also, make sure that all electrical outlets have a standard plate on them. Engage in fire safety by installing fire alarms throughout your home. Itís also a good idea to store a fire extinguisher in a safe room in your house. Another type of alarm that you can install is a carbon monoxide alarm. Inspect both alarms regularly and replace the alarm batteries no less than once a year. As a family, practice fire and other safety exit drills. This can let you know if older children need more instruction on what to do in the event of natural disasters or a human created emergency. Outdoors child safety proof measures include putting locks on the garage door and placing garage door openers high enough so that young children cannot reach them. Make sure that electric garage door openers are functioning properly. Rakes, shovels, gravel, hammers and other heavy or hazardous objects should be kept out of the reach of young children. Because no child safety proof measures may work all the time, particularly if your child is determined to explore an area or object, educating your child about the dangers of playing with certain items is important. So too is making sure that you and your older children practice safety such as removing toys from the bottom of steps, keeping cords and plastic out of the reach of children and removing water from tubs when they are not in use.