Home Safety Checklist (cont.)

YES ___ NO ___

RECOMMENDATION: Indoor air pollutants may accumulate to unhealthful levels in a kitchen where gas or kerosene-fire appliances are in use.

  • Use ventilation systems or open windows to clear air of vapors and smoke.

QUESTION: Are all extension cords and appliance cords located away from the sink or range areas?

YES ___ NO ___

RECOMMENDATION: Electrical appliances and power cords can cause shock or electrocution if they come in contact with water. Cords can also be damaged by excess heat.

  • Move cords and appliances away from sink areas and hot surfaces.
  • Move appliances closer to wall outlets or to different outlets so you won't need extension cords.
  • If extension cords must be used, install wiring guides so that cords will not hang near sink, range, or working areas.
  • Consider adding new outlets for convenience and safety; ask your electrician to install outlets equipped with ground fault circuit interrupters (GFCIs) to protect against electric shock. A GFCI is a shock-protection device that will detect electrical fault and shut off electricity before serious injury or death occurs.

For more information on cords, refer to the beginning of the checklist (pages 1 and 2).

QUESTION: Does good, even lighting exist over the stove, sink, and countertop work areas, especially where food is sliced or cut?

YES ___ NO ___

RECOMMENDATION: Low lighting and glare can contribute to burns or cuts. Improve lighting by:

  • Opening curtains and blinds (unless this causes to much glare).
  • Using the maximum wattage bulb allowed by the fixture. (If you do not know the correct wattage for the fixture, use a bulb no larger than 60 watts.)
  • Reducing glare by using frosted bulbs, indirect lighting, shades or globes on light fixtures, or partially closing the blinds or curtains.
  • Installing additional light fixtures, e.g. under cabinet/over countertop lighting.

(Make sure that the bulbs you use are the right type and wattage for the light fixture.)

QUESTION: Do you have a step stool which is stable and in good repair?

YES ___ NO ___

RECOMMENDATION: Standing on chairs, boxes, or other makeshift items to reach high shelves can result in falls. CPSC estimates that in 1982, 1500 people over 65 were treated in hospital emergency rooms when they fell from chairs on which they were standing.

  • If you don't have a step stool, consider buying one. Choose one with a handrail that you can hold onto while standing on the top step.
  • Before climbing on any step stool, make sure it is fully opened and stable.
  • Tighten screws and braces on the step stool.
  • Discard step stools with broken parts.

Remember: Check all of the product areas mentioned at the beginning of the checklist.

LIVING ROOM/FAMILY ROOM

In the living room/family room, check all rugs and runners, electrical and telephone cords, lighting, the fireplace and chimney, the telephone area, and all passageways.

QUESTION: Are chimneys clear from accumulations of leaves, and other debris that can clog them?

YES ___ NO ___

RECOMMENDATION: A clogged chimney can cause a poorly- burning fire to result in poisonous fumes and smoke coming back into the house.

  • Do not use the chimney until the blockage has been removed.
  • Have the chimney checked and cleaned by a registered or licensed professional.

QUESTION: Has the chimney been cleaned within the past year?

YES ___ NO ___

RECOMMENDATION: Burning wood can cause a build up of a tarry substance (creosote) inside the chimney. This material can ignite and result in a serious chimney fire.

  • Have the chimney checked and cleaned by a registered or licensed professional.

CHECK PASSAGEWAYS

QUESTION: Are hallways, passageways between rooms, and other heavy traffic areas well lit?

YES ___ NO ___

RECOMMENDATION: Shadowed or dark areas can hide tripping hazards.

  • Use the maximum wattage bulb allowed by the fixture. (If you do not know the correct wattage, use a bulb no larger than 60 watts.)
  • Install night lights.
  • Reduce glare by using frosted bulbs, indirect lighting, shades or globes on light fixtures, or partially closing blinds or curtains.
  • Consider using additional lamps or light fixtures. Make sure that the bulbs you use are the right type and wattage for the light fixture.

QUESTION: Are exits and passageways kept clear?

YES ___ NO ___

Furniture, boxes, or other items could be an obstruction or tripping hazard, especially in the event of an emergency or fire.

  • Rearrange furniture to open passageways and walkways.
  • Remove boxes and clutter.

Remember: Check all of the product areas mentioned at the beginning of the checklist.

BATHROOM

In the bathroom, check bathtub and shower areas, water temperature, rugs and mats, lighting, small electrical appliances, and storage areas for medications.

CHECK BATHTUB AND SHOWER AREAS

QUESTION: Are bathtubs and showers equipped with non- skid mats, abrasive strips, or surfaces that are not slippery?

YES ___ NO ___

RECOMMENDATION: Wet soapy tile or porcelain surfaces are especially slippery and may contribute to falls.

  • Apply textured strips or appliques on the floors of tubs and showers.
  • Use non-skid mats in the tub and shower, and on the bathroom floor.

QUESTION: Do bathtubs and showers have at least one (preferably two) grab bars?

YES ___ NO ___

RECOMMENDATION: Grab bars can help you get into and out of your tub or shower, and can help prevent falls.

  • Check existing bars for strength and stability, and repair if necessary.
  • Attach grab bars, through the tile, to structural supports in the wall, or install bars specifically designed to attach to the sides of the bathtub. If you are not sure how it is done, get someone who is qualified to assist you.

QUESTION: Is the temperature 120 degrees or lower?

YES ___ NO ___

Water temperature above 120 degrees can cause tap water scalds.

  • Lower the setting on your hot water heater to "Low" or 120 degrees. If you are unfamiliar with the controls of your water heater, ask a qualified person to adjust it for you. If your hot water system is controlled by the landlord, ask the landlord to consider lowering the setting.


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