8 Easy Ways to Make Your Home Safer

When was the last time you did something to make your home safer?

With more accidents happening at home than anywhere else, it’s something worth considering.

Here to help you is Laurie Woodward, a senior risk control consultant at Erie Insurance who has 36 years of experience helping business customers reduce risks in their workplaces. Risk control consultants help ERIE business customers make their workplaces safer for both employees and customers. Just a few of the ways they do that is by assisting with the creation of disaster recovery plans, conducting workplace risk surveys, recommending ways to comply with OSHA regulations and more.

“Being on top of upkeep goes a long way in keeping a business—as well as a home—safe,” she says. Here are her top tips to make your home safer this spring—and beyond.

  1. Safeguard your stairways. First, clear your stairs of any toys, books and folded laundry—they’re all big contributors to falls. Next, check to see if your rails are secure. If they wobble (or you don’t have any rails), have them fixed or installed.
  2. Take caution with candles. Keep candles far away from kids, pets and anything flammable. For added peace of mind, consider swapping traditional candles for LED versions.
  3. Maintain fireplaces and woodburningstoves. Have a professional clean out your chimney at least once a year. Keep flammable items clear of the hearth. Always burn seasoned firewood and avoid throwing any wrapping paper in the fire.
  4. Secure your TV. A falling TV could cause serious injury to someone in your house. (This is especially common when it comes to kids.) Wall mounting your TV, anchoring furniture with anti-tip brackets and installing anti-tip straps on the back of any non-wall-mounted TVs can substantially reduce the risk of a tipping accident.
  5. Inspect your walkways. Your front walkway is a prime spot for a slip-and-fall accident, so have any cracked or uneven areas fixed ASAP. During winter, make sure that your sidewalks and steps are clear of snow and ice accumulation.
  6. Use extension cords wisely. Don’t use electrical extension cords unless it’s on a temporary basis. Electrical extension cords should not be used in place of permanent wiring.
  7. Test smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. While some smoke detectors can be a little overzealous (burnt toast, anyone?), they’re also life savers. Test both your smoke and your carbon monoxide detectors once a month to make sure they’re in good working order.
  8. Clean out dryer vents. Regularly cleaning out your lint screen sometimes isn’t enough to keep your dryer vent from becoming clogged and starting a dryer fire. Have a professional come in at least once a year to give the vent system a good cleaning. Doing so will reduce the risk of a dryer fire and keep your machine running efficiently.

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