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Home Safety Checklist

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Authored by Jayant Row in Home Security 
Published on 04-04-2009

Every home needs to be thoroughly examined for its safety aspects, as the lives and well being of its occupants are dependent on this. So just go through this check list and see whether your home is safe enough for you and the family that is so dear to you.

Doors and Windows

Entry doors should be of solid core and not hollow. They should have dead bolts and heavy duty strike plates. Strike plates or door strikes are the protective metal plate installed in the door jamb that receives the latch or lock “tongue” when door is closed. If these are not of a good quality they are easily bent and forced, leaving the house vulnerable. These doors should also preferably have security doors for additional protection. A peep hole in an entry door is a must. All windows should have key operated locks and security grills covering them. A master key system is advisable as this would easily enable you to close or open all doors in the house in an emergency. You of course need to see that these keys are always kept safely and not available to everyone. Children’s rooms and bathrooms should have safety and child proof latches, as should also medicine chests. An entrance from the garage should be treated as if it is a main entrance door.

Electrical Systems

Ensure that the wiring in the house has been done with standard approved wires, and has sufficient overload or tripping devices available. All unused power points must have dummy plugs. Any extension cords or such devices must be stored away after use and not left in places where they can cause someone to trip over them. Ensure also that all cords leading to any equipment are safely positioned and do not intrude in to any space where there is movement. See that all your costly electrical equipment is protected by surge devices. The meter room should be locked and it is helpful if the entire circuit is protected by ground fault interrupters or circuit breakers, also known as Earth Leakage circuit breakers or ELCB’s.

Cooking Equipment

See that the gas outlets have proper shut off valves and each and every part of the range or stove has them as well. Keep electrical equipments away from kitchen sinks. See that the smoke exhaust or kitchen hood is always kept free of dirt and soot, as if these get clogged these could lead to fires.

Plumbing

All taps should be smooth and without rough edges. The flooring on the bathrooms should be skid proof. The thermostat in the water heater should be checked and proper temperature settings should be used to prevent scalding. Grab bars should be within easy reach of all toilet utilities, especially in case where senior citizens are part of the household.

Firefighting

There should be adequate number of fire extinguishers in the main rooms and especially in the kitchen, basement and garage. Fire alarms should be checked regularly and their batteries changed when needed. Exits for fire escape must be kept clear at all times, and a list of emergency telephone numbers must be prominently displayed so that any one in the family can use them.

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