Home Safety Checklist
How safe is your home? Most homes could probably be made safer, especially if
children live there. Your family will be healthier and safer if you practice
prevention and prepare for emergencies. First, "hazard proof" your home
using the following checklist developed by the American College of Emergency Physicians.
Next, take a first aid course and learn to recognize the warning signs of an
emergency, and learn CPR.
Help prevent injuries in your home. Begin
with this checklist:
Keep emergency numbers on every telephone in your home. Include numbers for your
family physician and pediatrician, regional Poison Control Center, and if 911
is not in your area, fire department, police departments, and ambulance service.
- Make sure your house number is clearly visible from the street.
- Keep a well-stocked first-aid kit that includes a first-aid manual and up-to-date
medical records for every member of the family. Make lists of medications (including
dosages) and allergies for each family member. Review them periodically, and replace
supplies as they are used or expire.
- Buy medicines and other household products with child-resistant caps. Be sure to
keep these and other materials that are unsafe for children out of their reach.
- Have and rehearse an emergency situation plan in case of fire or other emergency.
Kitchen Safety Tips
- When cooking, use back burners and keep pot handles turned inward.
- Set refrigerator temperature between 35o Fahrenheit and 40o F and
the freezer at or below 0o F.
- Never leave perishable food unrefrigerated for more than 2 hours, and less during hot
- Always wash cutting boards, knives, other utensils, and counter surfaces that have been
used to prepare raw meats before reusing; also allow them to dry before reusing.
- Adequately ventilate the area above a cooking surface.
Bathroom Safety Tips
- Use nonskid bath mats on bathroom floors and in bathtubs and showers.
- Keep floor, wall, and fixtures clear of water, soap, and other residues.
- Don't operate electrical appliances (electric clocks, radios, hair dryers) near
water-filled sinks and other water sources. Unplug appliances when not in use.
- Never leave young children alone in a bathroom.
General Safety Tips
- Install smoke detectors and replace batteries twice a year.
- Place at least one fire extinguisher on every floor, near exits and in full view; train
household members in their use. Inspect fire extinguisher gauges every few months,
and practice fire drills several times a year. Have a fire escape ladder on each
- Install carbon monoxide detectors; replace the batteries twice a year.
- Set your hot water thermostat to no more than 125o F.
- Never store chemicals or medicines in food containers; always keep them in original
- Be sure windows are secure. Install window guards to keep children from falling.
Be sure windows unlock and open easily; never paint bedroom windows shut.
- Keep electrical cords out of reach of children.
- Be sure child-resistant safety latches are on all cabinets and drawers containing
harmful substances. These include medications, cleaning supplies, paint,
insecticides, and adult beverages.
- Purchase toys appropriate for your child's age. In homes with more than one child,
be aware that older children's toys may be hazardous for younger ones. Keep toys
with small parts and other small objects out of reach of toddlers and young children.
- Keep combustible materials away from spaceheaters and wood stoves.
- If you have firearms, store them unloaded and locked. Store ammunition locked away
and separate from firearms.
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Material taken from the American College of Emergency