Despite your best efforts to make your home the safest place in the world, burglaries and other crimes in your neighbourhood could leave you unsettled. Take control by following our tips for improving health and safety at home.
Tips for keeping safe at home: preventing break-ins
A big part of staying safe at home is protecting yourself, and your property, against intruders. Try these tips:
- Install a home security system. It may seem obvious but the best way to protect your home when you are away is to have an alarm installed.
- Hang opaque net curtains to prevent people from seeing into your home. Especially in rooms where you have expensive items, like TVs and consoles.
- Keep doors closed. One of simplest, but most important, safety tips is to shut and lock doors behind you - even if you are simply popping out to the garage or emptying the bins.
- Keep your garden secure with a sturdy fence or wall. This will serve two purposes: to keep pets and children in and intruders out.
- Be careful online. Good safety rules at home aren’t just about physical measures. It’s also important to be vigilant around online safety. Avoid announcing when you are not at home and never post home addresses or phone numbers on websites or social media. Holiday announcements might seem harmless but you never know who’s reading!
Key steps to understanding safety at home: addressing home hazards
Safety at home does not stop with protecting yourself from intruders. Here are some steps for you to protect yourself from hazards at home:
- There are a greater number of kitchen hazards than any other room in your home so focus most of your efforts here.
- Always keep curtains, paper and other flammable objects away from sources of heat or open flames, such as the oven.
- Store insecticides, bleach, antifreeze and other harsh chemicals away from pets and children. Consider keeping them in a garage, shed, or locked cupboard.
- Never mix chemicals such as ammonia and bleach as you may create a toxic gas.
- Use non-slip mats in your bathroom to reduce the risk of nasty slips and trips.
- Make sure water, gas, and electricity supplies are installed and serviced by qualified tradesmen. Fit smoke and carbon monoxide alarms to help detect potential health hazards.
- Teach your kids what to do in an emergency - make sure they know the number for emergency services and now how to get out of the house safely in a fire.
Home safety checklist
Use this checklist to stay on top of your safety at home. Run through it once a month to identify any potential home hazards.
- Start with the outside of your property and check the condition of fences, walls, windows and the roof. Identify any damage or potential sources of entry.
- Move indoors and do the same again.
- Next, work through each room and identify any health hazards. Do rugs slip on the floor? Are there any sharp corners? Are cleaning products stored safely?
- Check that all security alarms, including smoke alarms, are functioning correctly. Replace batteries as necessary.
- Get your family to test what they'd do in a home emergency, such as a fire. Make sure everyone knows the plan.
Now that you've read our tips on home safety, it's time to put them into practice. Stay safe!