Jan 9, 2018

Home Safety Tips

By Julie Bentley

  

Home Safety Tips

They say your home is your castle, so how do you best protect it and your family from injury or burglery?  Whether you are a young family or in your “twilight years”, it’s always a good time to revisit some basic home safety tips.

Doors & Windows:

Seniors and pre-teen kids are especially vulnerable to break-ins, so be sure to keep your doors, windows, and garage doors locked (even when home).  Install and use deadbolts.  If getting to the door is difficult, request that people coming to visit call first so you can unlock the door for them.  If someone comes unannounced (even your friendly neighborhood Realtor) you don’t have to answer the door.  If it’s important they will come back or call.  

Install a peephole- and use it:

Always verify who is at your door before opening it.  If a delivery man or service person that you aren’t expecting come to the door, call the company and verify who they are before letting them in.

Lighting:

Install motion sensor or dusk to dawn lights to entry ways or around the perimeter of your home.  These will deter many would-be thieves.  

Emergency Contact:

Make an emergency contact list for your fridge.  This will help first responders know who you want to contact and makes it easier for younger kids or babysitters to know who to call if something comes up. 

For those who are older or less mobile, consider a med alert pendant.  In case of a fall or emergency, help is just a button away.

Light It Up:

Install night lights and grab bars in the bathroom.  Run LED rope lighting along the wall or on grab bars.

Bathroom:

Install no slip mats in your shower or tub.  Consider getting a shower chair or bench for easier transfer.  Install a toilet seat riser and grab bars to make standing and sitting easier.  Turn your water heater to under 120° to avoid scalding.

Simplify:

Rugs, extra furniture, and cords can all be trip hazards.  Simplify your space by donating or giving away furniture you don’t need and getting rid of rugs or replace with low profile versions.  If you have a lot of cords, consider running them through a small PVC plumbing pipe that fits snugly against the wall.

House Numbers:

Install large house numbers that can be easily seen from the street in case of an emergency.

  Hide a Key :

Keep a metal lock box or have a trusted neighbor keep a key to your home in case you are locked out or someone needs to come check on you.

Lights:

Use a timer on one or two lamps that will go on at night if you are away.  Consider plugging a radio into a timer or leave a radio or TV on when you will be gone for an extended period to make it sound like someone is home.

Safety First:

If you need to let a stranger in (maybe a repairman), call a neighbor to let them know they have arrived and ask them to call back within 10-20 minutes.  This lets the stranger know that someone is aware that they are there and will be checking in.  If someone asks to use your phone to make a call, ask for the phone number and make the call for them.

Never have kids who are home alone answer the door or let people know an adult isn’t home.

Phone Safety:

Never give your personal information out over the phone.  If a business asks to verify your account number, look up the number and call them back.  If someone calls asking for a donation, ask them to mail you the information and verify the charity before sending money.

Shred It:

Always shred important account and personal information such as account numbers, social security numbers, etc. 

Just Say Alexa:

Per OneGoodThingByJillee.com, the Amazon Echo can be a very useful tool for seniors.  From medication reminders to making a call or text in the event of an emergency, this device can be a valuable support to your family.  Whether you are a senior or a young family or have a family member with health issues this technology can help you rest easy, whatever your stage in life.

 

Home safety is a year round effort.  Implementing a few simple tips can keep you and your family safe.

 

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