The Ultimate House Safety Guide for Texas Homeowners

house safety

Keeping your family safe can be a full-time job.

And if you don’t pay close attention to common threats and take precautions to prevent injury, your job might be a lot harder than it should be.

But it’s hard to keep a constant watch over these threats.

So let’s make your house safety efforts worthwhile and effective – keep reading for the ultimate Texas house safety guide!

HOUSE SAFETY HAZARDS TO WATCH OUT FOR

Fire Hazards

It’s nearly impossible to keep your home free of heat and open flames – after all, who doesn’t cook or barbecue at least a few times a week on a hot stove or grill?

Because of this, accidents can happen. In fact, 87 percent of all fire-related deaths are due to home fires. They spread rapidly and can leave families with as little as two minutes to escape once their alarms sound.

Here are some tips for fighting fire hazards:

  • Be sure your home is fully equipped with working smoke alarms – on every level and in every sleeping area.
  • Instruct your children to never play with matches, lighters, or the kitchen stove.
  • Create and practice a home fire escape plan. You can even test your kids out and time how fast they make it out of your house.
  • Make sure that all appliances are in working order and that none of their wires are frayed.
  • Don’t overload electrical outlets, and try to unplug devices when they aren’t in use.
  • The traditional “Stop, Drop, and Roll” method still works. Make sure everyone in your household knows what to do in case of fire!

If you can follow these tips to avoid fire in your home, you’ll be able to rest easy knowing that you and your family are safe from a major household threat.

Carbon Monoxide

Many Texas homes make use of fuel-powered devices that provide great benefits when used properly, but they also mean you’ll need a trustworthy carbon monoxide detector.

Carbon monoxide poisoning can come from faulty heating appliances, portable generators, clothes dryers, cars left running in garages, or water heaters. Side effects can range from severe injury to death.

And because you can’t see, taste, or smell carbon monoxide, here are some tips to prevent carbon monoxide poisoning:

  • Install a carbon monoxide alarm on every level of your home, just like your smoke detectors. But remember – you’ll need both, or a combination smoke and carbon monoxide alarm.
  • If you need to warm your vehicle, first remove it from your garage. Never leave a vehicle running inside an enclosed space.
  • Keep your gasoline and gasoline-powered devices stored in a locked location where children cannot access it.
  • Don’t use a grill, generator, or camping stove in an enclosed space or outside near an open window.

In 2009, poison control centers reported more than 3,500 cases of carbon monoxide poisoning in children under 19 years of age. That’s why it’s extremely important that you take these house safety precautions!

Bathrooms

This may sound crazy, but the majority of household accidents take place in the bathroom!

Aside from the risk of slipping and falling in or outside of the tub, the bathroom also commonly contains a laundry list of dangerous chemicals. You can find potentially deadly substances in soaps, makeup, and perfumes.

To maximize your bathroom safety, put sturdy locks and safety latches on cupboards that contain medications. Any prescription narcotics should be should be locked away somewhere children won’t stumble across them.

You never know when you might need to reach out to stop yourself from falling in the bathroom, and you’ll save yourself and others from a nasty head injury if you install grab bars and other supports that help people young and old get in and out of the shower.

Sharp Edges

house safety

You probably have several objects both inside and outside your home that have sharp, dangerous edges on them.

In your kitchen – where you keep knives, graters, and other sharp objects for food preparation – you should make sure all sharp objects are properly stored. You can even lock them up if there are children in your home.

Your yard and outdoor storage sheds may have even greater potential threats to children and others. Rakes, lawn mowers, saws, and other tools should be locked up and kept out of the reach of children.

When you use these tools, make sure you’re free from distractions and have plenty of time to concentrate – that way, you won’t end up hurting yourself either!

Strangling or Choking Hazards

Everyone breathes. And to keep everyone in your home breathing comfortably, you need to watch out for choking and strangling hazards.

Cords on window dressings like blinds and curtains can present a strangling hazard if your children come into contact with them. Make sure no crib or bed is placed under a window with dangling cords, and secure all other cords in your home out of reach or trimmed to a length that is only accessible to adults.

Small items like toys and hard foods that can block airways can pose a serious threat to your children if they swallow them. Regularly inspect toys for loose parts and search your floors for any items that could be swallowed.

If you know your family is safe from these threats, you’ll be able to breathe easy.

Dangerous Chemicals

It’s nearly unavoidable unless you keep your eyes on them at all times: kids get into things they probably shouldn’t.

Here’s a scary statistic – half of the 2 million calls to Poison Help Number in 2011 involved children ages 5 and under. And 9 out of 10 poisonings occur at home.

So, to keep your adventurous offspring from finding anything that could be dangerous in your Texas home, follow these tips:

  • Keep household chemicals and cleaning solutions out of children’s sight and reach. Kids tend to be eye-level with items they find under the kitchen and bathroom sinks.
  • Keep any poisonous items out of reach. These can range from insect repellants to liquid packets for the laundry and dishwasher.
  • Read all product labels to find out what seemingly innocent products might be dangerous to your kids. Personal care products, plants, lead, art supplies, alcohol, pesticides, makeup, anything that might pose a threat should be kept away from children.
  • Check for lead-based paint, and remove any peeling paint or chewable painted surfaces from your home.

And to be extra safe, put the toll-free Poison Help Number (1-800-222-1222) in an obvious place in your home – or even program it into your cell phone.

Peace of Mind

Knowing your family is safe might take a bit of extra work now and then, but if you take all of these precautions, your job will be a lot easier.

But if you can’t be on duty all the time, you could also try protecting your home with a monitored security system that offers remote access 24/7.

And if you have any questions on house safety or any other thoughts you’d like to run by an experienced real estate agent in the Austin, Ft. Hood, or Killeen region, contact me today!