Most of us are lucky enough to live in a safe haven when we’re at home. We’re very blessed to be in a place that keeps us dry, safe and warm. There are some things though that get forgotten in the busy lives we all lead, and those small things could keep us safer if we just took some time to do them. Habits are formed through repetition, so get into the routine of doing these little things to keep you and yours sleeping that little bit more soundly at night. To make it super easy, I’ve pulled together a list of the top safety tips that you can schedule. They’re listed in order of when to do them too, because the easier it is, the more likely we are to do it right?
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First, a one off Job that you can do anytime, anywhere! – Get to know who you’re services are. Below are links to both directories so you can find out just who looks after you in your local area. Some offer home safety advice. Check your local services web pages for information.
Keys accessible but out of sight – It’s super important to be able to get out of your house if there was an emergency, like a fire; especially at night. Getting into the habit of keeping keys in the same place means that, if you need to get to them, you will instinctively know where they are. Your whole family should know the go-to place for keys if they need them. This location should be on route to your exit but out of sight – the last thing you need is sneaky thieves pinching your keys!
Outbuildings Secure and Property Away – it’s very easy, especially in the summer months when we’re mid-project, to leave tools and other equipment out overnight. This isn’t always the best idea. Sadly, opportunistic theft is on the rise so you could risk losing this stuff if it isn’t stored safely. Additionally, leaving these items accessible can provide readily-available tools for those wishing to do damage, cause harm or break in. Much better to spend the extra ten minutes tidying away than 10 hours on the phone sorting out the theft, damage, or other nasty that could happen as a result.
Clear Escape Routes – We all have clutter! Even me, super organised me, tend to collect random things and leave them lying around the house. I also have a poor habit of putting items onto the stairs if they’re “ready to go up” so I remember to take them next time I go. This is all well and good until I’m heading somewhere in a rush and go clattering over them! The one thing I don’t do is leave anything lying around overnight. I’m clumsy enough during the day, let alone if I was shocked awake and needed to make a quick escape! Keeping the route to your door clear and accessible is important for you, your family, and God forbid, anyone needed to come and get you. Take five minutes before bedtime to check you’ve got it covered – or not as the case may be!
Test Stuff! There is a world of awesome little gadgets to keep an eye or ear out for us (and if you haven’t, then tut tut and buy them now!) I’ve been there when it comes to experiencing what both fire and carbon monoxide can do. UK Fire Service Resources tells it as it is: “Every year the fire and rescue service is called to about 50,000 (140 a day) fire in the home. These kill nearly 500 and injure over 11,000, many which could have been prevented if people had an early warning and were able to get out in time. In fact you are twice as likely to die in a house fire that has no smoke alarm than a house that does.” Please don’t risk it! Buy the gadgets, install them and maintain them! Simples!
Here’s your shopping list so get installing today!
Testing these items is the equivalent to walking around with your eyes open; it’s just what you do! Test them weekly to keep them in tip top shape and reduce the chance of the annoying battery beep that inevitably happens in the middle of the night!
Check your window locks and key locations – As with your door keys, it’s important to keep window keys available but out of sight. Personally, since the small person came along, I have religiously locked and checked my windows, especially the large escape window. It’s super important though that these keys are accessible should the worst happen and you need to use that as an escape route. I will say this though, if you follow all of the advice provided by the Yorkshire Pudding, your local Police and Fire and Rescue Services, you shouldn’t be in a position where you need to escape from an upstairs window. Your early warning system (Smoke Detector) and good night time routine will not only reduce your risk of fire specifically, but also give you enough time to make a safe escape through your door and not your window.
Replace Light bulbs and poor lighting – According to NFSI (National Floor Safety Institute) “Half of all accidental deaths in the home are caused by a fall.” Now I don’t know about you, but that’s pretty horrible! They also say that “Most fall injuries in the home happen at ground level, not from an elevation.” So don’t go thinking that these are all silly folk climbing ladders badly or being daft! Not so! The idea behind these statistics isn’t to strike you down with fear, it’s simply to highlight that no matter how careful we are, accidents can still happen. Being that little bit more prepared by completing little tasks that we’ve talked about, and replacing poor lighting, can mean that you are less likely to take a tumble and end up in hospital or worse. I’d rather change a light bulb (safely of course please people!!!)
There’s a few bits to do once a year that are super important! Keep on top of these ones.
Ensuring that gas appliances are serviced – Landlords have to do this as part of their tenancy agreement, but us private dwellers aren’t always as on-the-ball with our own appliances and products. Keeping things in tip-top shape is the best way to reduce risk in your home. Get a Gas Safe Registered Engineer (you can find a list here) to inspect your gas gadgets every 12 months! It’s worth every penny!
Home Emergency Insurance – It’s usually a good plan to have this cover if you’re a homeowner and it isn’t included in your Buildings and Contents package. If you’re money smart, some home emergency cover plans offer servicing as part of the annual package. Shop around every year to make sure you’re getting the most for your money.
Visual Electrics Inspection – we don’t all have to be leading sparky’s to know if something looks a bit dodgy electrically. Take five minutes (and a torch!) to inspect the electrical sockets, leads and mains boxes in your home. Anything look dodgy? Unsure about something? Speak to a professional in case you need it checking more closely. Oo, and on that note, get ride of those horrible and dangerous block adaptors from the 80’s please! Replace with bank adaptors if you don’t have enough sockets and make sure you don’t overload them! (there is lots of information on electrical safety at electricalsafetyfirst.org.uk)
Exterior walkways in good repair – you’ll usually notice if you have a gaping sink hole in your driveway but once every 12 months, take five minutes to walk your paths and look for obvious signs of wear and tear. Fixing these small patches are the sorts of things that can reduce your risk of slips, trips and falls; especially in the colder months – and let’s face, who knows when those months will fall these days!
Please don’t feel overwhelmed by this list. Making small changes throughout the year and getting into good daily, weekly and monthly habits can really help you to reduce risk for you and your family. To break it into bite-size chunks add the routine to your planner.
Is there anything that you do that’s not listed here? Share your safety habits with us in the comments or on Social!
Hugs for now