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Home safety checklist

Making your home safe is like any other household chore. You have to do it eventually, so why don't you get it over and done with.  

The checklist we’ve put together is a collection of commonsense advice you’ve probably given out yourself over the years.

Select an area of the house, below, for advice on keeping safe. Start a to-do list and get the process underway.

Download the home safety checklist

 

Kitchen

Issue

If you want to stay injury free, make your kitchen work for you:

Action

  • put the things you use every day at easy reach so you’re not constantly bending and reaching
  • try using a hand reacher
  • use a sturdy and safe step-ladder if you need to get things from high places
  • when moving dishes in and out of the oven or dishwasher, sit or stand at the side, rather than leaning forward over the door.

Rugs

Issue

If your rugs slip around when you walk over them (even just a little bit):

Action

Anchor them in place with anti-slip mats.

Issue

If your rugs are:

  • frayed at the edges
  • rolled at the corners
  • wrinkled or lumpy in the middle.

Action

Repair, donate or replace them. As attached as you may be to your rugs, they will trip you up eventually.

Bathroom

Issue

To avoid slips and falls in the bathroom:

Action

  • always use a bathmat
  • use a non-slip mat in the shower or bath if you need it.

Issue

If you can’t get on and off the toilet easily, or If you can’t get in and out of the bath or shower without holding on to towel rails or taps:

Action

Install sturdy, well-placed hand rails around your bathroom.

Issue

If you feel unsteady or uncomfortable standing to shower:

Action

Use a bath-seat and handheld shower head.

Issue

If your mirror is mounted over a hand-basin or ledge and leaning makes you feel unsteady:

Action

Get a pull out mirror so you don’t have to lean into it.

Living room

Issue

If you can’t walk through your house without bumping into things:

Action

  • remove furniture or items you don’t need
  • downsize large pieces to create more clear space
  • de-clutter papers and other unnecessary items.

Issue

If you can’t reach your telephone comfortably from your chair:

Action

  • get a cordless phone
  • keep your cell phone charged and close by at all times.

Issue

If electrical cords are running across your walk-ways:

Action

  • tuck electrical cords under furniture or close to the wall and tape them down
  • if possible, reposition your appliances, or change the room layout (ask for help if your furniture is heavy).

Outdoors

Issue

Gardening is a great way to stay fit and get regular doses of Vitamin D:

Action

  • avoid heavy lifting – break the load up into smaller parcels
  • use long-handled and lightweight tools to avoid bending over for long periods
  • use well maintained tools and step-ladders
  • don’t get into a tug of war with stubborn weeds (get the buggers some other way!)
  • steady yourself when bending and standing
  • ask for help if you need it.

Issue

If your paths ice up in winter:

Action

Make sure you apply salt or sand to them, and always use a handrail.

Bedroom

Issue

If your balance is a bit off in the mornings:

Action

  • take your time getting out of bed
  • roll onto your side, sit up slowly, and then stand
  • don’t attempt to walk until you’re good and ready
  • try sitting down to get dressed.

Issue

Other tips in the bedroom:

Action

  • take your time making the bed. Pull on one layer at a time to avoid back strain
  • you should be able to touch the floor when sitting on the side of the bed. If you can’t do this, look at ways to adjust your bed height
  • install a bedside lamp that you can easily reach from bed
  • keep all bedrooms clutter free.

Lighting

Issue

If your lights aren’t bright enough or positioned effectively:

Action

  • use area-lamps to target areas that your ceiling lights don’t reach
  • up the wattage of your light bulbs
  • use nightlights if you get up often in the night
  • change bulbs as soon as they blow 
  • install light switches at the top and bottom of stairs.

Issue

If your lights are too bright or create glare off hard surfaces:

Action

  • swap to frosted bulbs
  • use nightlights instead of overhead lights if you get up often during the night.

Issue

If your outside lights are ineffective or non-existent:

Action

Get a professional in to install automatic security lights (front and back doors, along the path to the house). There are plenty of options on the market.

Next page Plan ahead