Home Safety Checklist (cont.)

NOTE: If all, or nearly all, fuses used are 30-amp fuses, there is a chance that some of the fuses are rated too high for the circuit.


QUESTION: Are power tools equipped with a 3-prong plug or marked to show that they are double insulated?

YES ___ NO ___

RECOMMENDATION: These safety features reduce the risk of an electric shock.

  • Use a properly connected 3-prong adapter for connecting a 3-prong plug to a 2-hole receptacle.
  • Consider replacing old tools that have neither a 3- prong plug nor are double insulated.

QUESTION: Are power tools guards in place?

YES ___ NO ___

RECOMMENDATION: Power tools used with guards removed pose a serious risk of injury from sharp edges or moving parts.

  • Replace guards that have been removed from power tools. QUESTION: Has the grounding feature on any 3-prong plug been defeated by removal of the grounding pin or by improperly using an adapter?

YES ___ NO ___

RECOMMENDATION: Improperly grounded appliances can lead to electric shock.

  • Check with your service person or an electrician if you are in doubt.


QUESTION: Are containers of volatile liquids tightly capped?

YES ___ NO ___

RECOMMENDATION: If not tightly closed, vapors may escape that may be toxic when inhaled.

  • Check containers periodically to make sure they are tightly closed.

NOTE: CPSC has reports of several cases in which gasoline, stored as much as 10 feet from a gas water heater, exploded. Many people are unaware that gas fumes can travel that far.

QUESTION: Are gasoline, paints, solvents, or other products that give off vapors or fumes stored away from ignition sources?

YES ___ NO ___

RECOMMENDATION: Gasoline, kerosene, and other flammable liquids should be stored out of living areas in properly labeled, non- glass safety containers.

  • Remove these products from the areas near heat or flame such as heaters, furnaces, water heaters, ranges, and other gas appliances.


For all stairways, check lighting, handrails, and the condition of the steps and coverings.


QUESTION: Are stairs well lighted?

YES ___ NO ___

RECOMMENDATION: Stairs should be lighted so that each step, particularly the step edges, can be clearly seen while going up and down stairs. The lighting should not produce glare or shadows along the stairway.

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

QUESTION: Are light switches located at both the top and bottom of the stairs.

RECOMMENDATION: Even if you are very familiar with the stairs, lighting is an important factor in preventing falls. You should be able to turn on the lights before you use the stairway from either end.

  • If no other light is available, keep an operating flashlight in a convenient location at the top and bottom of the stairs.
  • Install night lights at nearby outlets.
  • Consider installing switches at the top and bottom of the stairs.

QUESTION: Do the steps allow secure footing?

YES ___ NO ___

RECOMMENDATION: Worn treads or worn or loose carpeting can lead to insecure footing, resulting in slips or falls.

  • Try to avoid wearing only socks or smooth-soled shoes or slippers when using stairs.
  • Make certain the carpet is firmly attached to the steps all along the stairs.
  • Consider refinishing or replacing worn treads, or replacing worn carpeting.
  • Paint outside steps with paint that has a rough texture, or use abrasive strips.

QUESTION: Are steps even and of the same size and height?

YES ___ NO ___

RECOMMENDATION: Even a small difference in step surfaces or riser heights can lead to falls.

  • Mark any steps which are especially narrow or have risers that are higher or lower than the others. Be especially careful of these steps when using the stairs.

QUESTION: Are the coverings on the steps in good condition?

YES ___ NO ___

RECOMMENDATION: Worn or torn coverings or nails sticking out from coverings could snag your foot or cause you to trip.

  • Repair coverings.
  • Remove coverings.
  • Replace coverings.

QUESTION: Can you clearly see the edges of the steps?

YES ___ NO ___

RECOMMENDATION: Falls may occur if the edges of the steps are blurred or hard to see.

  • Paint edges of outdoor steps white to see them better at night.
  • Add extra lighting.
  • If you plan to carpet your stairs, avoid deep pile carpeting or patterned or dark colored carpeting that can make it difficult to see the edges of the steps clearly.

QUESTION: Is anything stored on the stairway, even temporarily?

YES ___ NO ___

RECOMMENDATION: People can trip over objects left on stairs, particularly in the event of an emergency or fire.

  • Remove all objects from the stairway.


    This information was provided by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission.
    Last Editorial Review: 7/19/2002

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