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A Safe Florida Home Checklist

Many injuries each year occur in homes. You can make your home safer for yourself and your family by using this checklist to accident-proof your home:
*Does your homes have enough smoke detectors and are the alarms in good condition? Batteries should be replaced frequently. Smoke detectors are your first defence against a fire and can allow you to escape your home before burn injuries and other serious injuries occur.
*Are all the electrical extension cords in your home in good condition and being used properly? Electrical extension cords should not be stretched across heavy traffic areas of your home and should be replaced at first sign of wear.
*Are your electrical outlets in good condition and not overloading? Your unused outlets should be covered or locked to prevent accidents, as well.
*Are your fuses replaced with the proper size fuses? Pennies and other substitutes are only for short-term replacement.
*Can you turn off your electricity and gas? Knowing how to do this can prevent accidents and injuries in the event of an emergency.
*Are your floors in good condition and made with a non-skid surface? Many slip and fall accidents occur in the home, so fix slippery surfaces, floor covering that are loose, and other hazards at once.
*Are your fireplaces secured? There should be a good screen affixed to your fireplace and if your fireplaces are used, you should have chimney cleaners check your fireplace and chimney regularly to help prevent fires.
*How are you using candles? Candles should be well away from flammable surfaces (this includes walls!) and should rest on sturdy, fire-resistant candle holders. If you have children or pets, only burn candles when you can watch them constantly. Leaving a candle and toddler alone for a few minutes while you answer the door is enough to cause a burn injury.
*Do you have a fire extinguisher in good condition on each floor?
*Do you have an emergency kit – with cash, ID, insurance polices, spare keys, and emergency numbers, in an easy-to-access spot in case of an emergency?
*Do your closet and bathroom doors have safety release locks to prevent someone from becoming trapped inside?
*Is all your paint lead-free? If you are not sure, have an expert in to check?
*Have you checked your appliances and children’s products to see whether they are affected by recent recalls?
*Are your windows securely fastened?
*Are hallways and stairway approaches free of throw rugs and clutter?
*Are stairs in good shape? All the stairs in your home should be in good repair and should have steps of the same height and width. Each staircase should have sturdy railings or banisters. If you have children, gates at the bottom and top of stairways are a must.
*Is your home well-lighted?
*Is your kitchen safe? Your curtains should not be close to any heating appliance (such as a stove or toaster) and appliances should be disconnected when not in use. Any gas appliances should have flue ventilation and any larger appliances should lock so that children cannot get trapped inside.
*Are your heating systems in good shape? Furnaces and flues must be inspected regularly and air ducts and filters must be cleaned regularly.
*Is your home well-ventilated, especially when the heating is on?
*Is there a non-smoking policy in your home? There should be – smoke leaves toxins that can linger in your home for months, and cigarettes cause many home fires each year.
*In your bathrooms, are your tubs and showers supplied with non-skid mats and non-stick surfaces? You might want to add grip bars, especially if your bathrooms are used by an elderly person.
*Are medications and chemicals stored securely? Are chemicals and foods thrown out by their best-before date?
*Are electrical appliances in your home kept away from water?
*Is your walkway, driveway, sidewalk, and outdoor areas kept free of debris and snow?