If you had to give your home a safety rating, what would you base that rating on? How would your home score?
Home safety is not the first thing homeowners talk about. Just think—would you rather tell your neighbor about your new window treatments, or your air quality and new deadbolts?
Here’s why homeowners should give this topic its due attention:
- 78% of the preventable injuries and related deaths in the U.S. in 2020 happened in homes, usually the victim’s home.
- 8 million people had non-fatal accidents in the home in 2020.
Y’all are understandably excited about remodeling and digging into glorious interior design projects…you could spend spend HOURS on Houzz and Pinterest looking for new design styles or home features to enhance your space. That’s great! Loving your home (and how it looks and feels) is central to getting a “return on enjoyment.”
However, your concern and attention for your home must go beyond beautifying it.
Defining Home Safety
When the question “how safe is your home” comes up, either or both of these come to mind:
- Home security
- And home safety
Home security means having secure locks, home security systems, parameter-breach alarms, tech-assisted home surveillance, ad other features that keep intruders out.
Home safety deals with hazards and preventable home accidents that can befall anyone inside or on your property. It includes indoor air quality, fire hazards and gas leaks, among other things.
To fully answer “how safe is your home,” you must blend safety and security measures and ask what you need your home to provide for your family.
Keep reading to learn about the key aspects of your home that REALLY tell you how it measures up!
6 Home Safety Issues and How to Resolve Them
“Is Our Home Safe” #1: Pollution
We spend more time indoors than you ever thought…especially after rolling lockdowns and a global pandemic.
According to the United States Environmental Protection Agency, the average American spends 90% of their time indoors. And now that so many people work from home at least part of the time, that indoor time is overwhelmingly in their houses.
Alarmingly, the EPA also tells us that the air pollution in homes is between two and five times more polluted than air outdoors.
Improving your home’s indoor air quality is a non-negotiable safety question, especially if you have any auto-immune conditions or children.
Here’s what you can do:
- Clean your air ducts regularly
- Change your AC filter on time
- Ensure your home has natural air (cross-ventilation)
- Grow indoor plants
- Install a whole-home air purifier
“Is Our Home Safe” #2: Risk of Burglary and Theft
The extent to which your home is secure for you and your loved ones has a colossal impact on your home’s overall safety score. You can’t claim to have a “safe home” if it’s susceptible to burglary and break-in.
Property crime takes up the lion share of crimes in the U.S., accounting for 83% of crimes reported. The question is: how safe is your home from property crimes?
How many of these security features do you have around your home?
- Mail slot that drops mail securely inside, not in a box
- Motion-sensor perimeter alarms
- Security cameras
- Smart doorbell
- Garage sensors
- Window sensors
Additionally, have you looked around your property and thought like a burglar? Where are the best hiding places? Even your wifi has to be secure, too—someone who can break onto your network can compromise complex wifi-based security systems.
How’s your home scoring so far on the “safety” meter?…
“Is Our Home Safe” #3: Risk of Cuts and Bangs
From open food cans to the sharp corners of cabinets, cuts and bangs seem like a home hazard that’s almost impossible to avoid, especially with pets and kids around.
While cuts may not seem serious, you know they can be. A skinned knee is one thing, but thousands of homeowners lose fingers every day due to accidents in the home. Just think about that!
Keep everyone in your home as safe as can be from cuts and head bangs. Ensure your cabinets are properly anchored. Ensure your handrails are firmly anchored to the studs. Check your home to see that all sharp objects are outside of children’s reach, too.
Have you seen this baby proofing checklist?
“Is Our Home Safe” #4: Risk of Bumps and Falls
Bumps and falls are common “sister-hazards” to cuts and bangs. The thing is, both adults and children are susceptible to bumps and falls, especially in homes not designed for “all ages” (also known as “universal design”).
When it comes to crucial design details, focus on ensuring each room has enough space for free and unincumbered movement. Design curbless entry to showers, too, with a bench to sit on inside. Also see to it that your home’s stairs are in top condition.
Keep objects out of pathways away from stairs, too. Not even your FAVORITE design selection or tchotchke is worth the risk of cluttering key pathways through your home.
“Is Our Home Safe” #5: Risk of Fires, Shocks, Burns
Fires, electric shock and burns happen every day in homes due to avoidable electrical hazards, from unprotected cables to unguarded sockets and malfunctioning appliances.
When installing electrical and electronic appliances in your home, always think about the risk to children or pets who don’t know any better. If you don’t have kids or pets, surely there will be someone visiting your home who does.
And check out these 10 Tips To Prevent Accidents In The Home…
Consider smart smoke detectors and alarms in your home, too, to better detect and raise awareness about fire risks.
“Is Our Home Safe” #6: Risk of Spills and Slips
Slipping on spills or leaks in the home can result in even more traumatic falls. The National Floor Safety Institute reports that about half of all accidental deaths in U.S. homes are caused by a fall—of which slips are the principal culprit.
A leaking sink, a burst pipe, a faulty faucet…these are plumbing-related problems that could cause water leakage and lead to slips. Water flooding your home also destroys valuables and puts you at significantly higher risk of electric shock from your home appliances.
To prevent these risks, regularly have your pipes checked. Immediately clean spills, too, and repair those faulty faucets and sinks as soon as they act up.
These six home safety checks are by no means the only accident-related scenarios in the home. Other safety concerns include mold growth and gas leaks, among others. When it comes to your home, though…where you AND your love ones spend most of your time…no length is too far to go to ensure safety.
Above all, it’s important to regularly inspect every aspect of your home and score just how “safe” it really is. Download our Home Inspection Checklist to get started now!