I took an online quiz about home saftey over the weekend. It asked questions like, “Where is the best place to leave a spare key?” and “How does a locking mailbox work?” and “When you’re on vacation, how should you leave your blinds?” I got several questions right (and secretly wished to have a perfect score of 10), but wondered why the quiz didn’t have more questions about safety for when homeowners are present.
Many people are working from a home office or choosing to stay in more regularly. When you spend a large chunk of your time in the same location, it’s important to ensure that not only will you be safe, but that you’ll also be able to exit quickly should an emergency arise. So, as you start organizing, be sure that…
1. Pathways are clear. When there’s nothing blocking your walkways, not only will you reduce your chances of falling, but you’ll also increase the likelihood that you can leave your home or (or office) safely if there’s an emergency.
2. Paper is appropriately contained. Piles and stacks of paper (including newspapers and books) can also be tripping hazards. Put your files in a file cabinet and your books back on the shelf. Know what else can be dangerous? Putting your mail and grocery bags on the stove. Resist the urge to do that just in case a burner is accidentally turned on.
3. Furniture is well positioned. Be careful of furniture that can tip over and, in cases where young children are present, you may want to have some pieces bolted. Also, consider using non-slip rugs or a pad underneath your rugs.
4. Cleaning supplies and medicines are out of children’s reach. Both medicines and cleaning supplies should ideally be in a locked cabinet. You can also take the extra step of putting all medications in a locked box on a high shelf.
5. No unwanted critters are around. I heard from a client recently that she found a brown recluse spider in her basement. While you may not have a massive invasion of bugs or crawling critters, one or two might find your boots (or closed shoes) to be very cozy. Get in the habit of checking your shoes as well as other areas of your home (like your garage, shed, and closets) for unwanted critters.