Home Maintenance & Safety Checklists

You can help maintain the health of your home. You can be environmentally safe and save money by saving energy if you perform regular maintenance checks of your home’s interior and exterior. Make scheduled inspections of your home’s structure and all appliances or structures used for cooking or heating the home. Read your owner’s manuals and follow the recommendations for safety and keeping that area or item in proper working condition and safe for everyone to use. Consider hiring a professional to inspect your home for regular maintenance & needed repairs so it is done correctly and safely.

Many homeowners hire professionals to service and maintain their appliances on a regular basis for safety and to save money. Hire a professional that is well trained, licensed, and preferably bonded such as an electrician, plumber, or licensed contractor that may find damage or needed repairs quicker and easier. You may get tips from your licensed contractors on the specifics to look for when performing regular home maintenance checks.

Main Living Areas

  • Remove any unused furniture, non-functional furniture, and low furniture that may be a tripping hazard with legs or corners that stick out in way of the walking path
  • Rearrange furniture for a clean, safe and clear walk path
  • Remove throw rugs or area rugs that are in direct walk path and not in good condition or not secured to the floor.
  • Adequate lighting
  • Remove all cords or wires that are in the walking path and a tripping hazard
  • Do not use extension cords due to fire hazard and tripping hazard
  • Remove all clutter from walk path
  • Use remote controls for fans, light, television, and phone for energy conservation and decrease tripping/fall risk
  • Maintain condition of all furniture or equipment used for proper functioning and decrease the risk of injury; secure furniture to the floor using non-skid material or removing casters if present
  • Adjust heights of surfaces for safety and ease of getting up and down

Hallway & Stairs

  • Install rails at all stairs on at least one side and recommended both sides
  • Install light switch at both ends of hallway and stairs
  • Adequate lighting
  • Repair all uneven areas flooring or stairs and remove all clutter

Bedrooms

  • Remove unused furniture, non-functional furniture(poor condition, unsturdy) and remove throw rugs
  • Remove clutter and repair flooring where needed for level, even walk the path
  • Change the height of furniture as needed such as bed or chairs for ease of getting in and out or up and down Install bars at wall or bed where needed for easier transfers and safe movement throughout bedroom
  • Place phone and flashlight near the bed in case of emergency; replacement batteries near the flashlight
  • heck weather and use weather alert radio or register with local weather alert stations in case of weather emergencies or natural disasters
  • Use nightlights and install adequate lighting
  • Use a light switch that controls the lamp for adequate lighting
  • Use caution with an electrical heating pad to prevent burns to the skin; never use topical analgesics with a heating device due to burning risk

Kitchen Safety

  • Use proper electrical outlets near water
  • Recommend GFCIS: ground circuit interrupters near water areas such as a bathroom, kitchen, laundry, and garage; have checked routinely for safety
  • Fire extinguisher present, visible, and in proper working condition
  • Never leave the kitchen during cooking and never leave a burning candle unattended
  • Never place items on a stove unless is it a pot to cook with; this is a fire hazard.
  • place pots on the stove with handles towards the back
  • Never carry hot items or liquids while holding your child
  • Never cook with loose clothing that may get near flame or hot surface
  • Use proper lighting in the kitchen and consider color markings if vision impaired
  • Never place paper products closer than 3 feet of an open flame
  • Clean up liquid spills immediately
  • Throw rugs only recommended near the sink and properly secured to flooring and in good condition; remove throw rugs if the history of falls
  • No floor wax or polish used on floors If a step stool needed then recommend maintain the condition and use one with a high bar for balance
  • Cords or tripping hazards removed and all wires in good condition for fire prevention

Laundry Room Safety for child & Adults

  • Always have washer/dryer inspected if signs of poorly working condition
  • Keep the dryer lint screen clean after each use & clean hose inside & outside of the home.
  • Use automatic shut-off iron or always check appliances before leaving home.
  • Check for signs of water leaks damage on the floor, wall, or around the washer
  • Keep cleaning products or other harmful products out of reach of children & use safety locks where items are stored
  • Keep all small items out of the child’s reach & any strangling objects or material; consider keeping the door locked to keep children out of the laundry room.
  • Use child safety locks on the washer/dryer or keep the door locked to the laundry room.

Bathroom Safety

  • Repair any fall hazard on steps, flooring near steps and check for the proper function of stairs and rail
  • Install rail or handrail where needed at stairs
  • Install nonskid surface or color contrast at top and bottom of stairs as needed for fall prevention
  • Install adequate lighting near stairs or another uneven surface
  • Install proper safety rails or grab bars in bathrooms
  • Install nonskid surface in tub or flooring as needed to prevent falls
  • Install adjustable shower hose, or handheld shower, seat in the tub and adjust the water temperature to prevent burns

Plumbing & Water Safety

  • Have plumbing checked for proper water pressure, pipe condition, and if any signs of leaks are present
  • Always have a professional inspect any plumbing problems that arise
  • Install pressure devices to shower or faucets for recommended water flow and temperature control to prevent burns
  • Cover hot water pipes and hot water heater for energy conservation and safety; check with a professional for proper material to cover pipes where needed and hot water tanks safely.
  • Have a thermometer to check water temperature and adjust your hot water heater to 120degrees Fahrenheit or below which is on most just below medium setting(check owner’s manual)
  • Avoid burn injuries during cooking by placing pot handles to the back of the stove.  Avoid burn injuries to children by never carrying anything hot while holding a child.
  • Check for leaks at all pipes and at shut off valves
  • Check for proper water pressure that should be done by a professional
  • Basement and crawl spaces should be monitored for water leaks; pull back insulation to check

Never pour grease down your sink or another pipe in your home; never pour a chemical down your pipes unless a plumber or other professional has informed you that no harm will happen to your pipes. Read all disposal instructions on your chemicals.

Garage Safety & Security Tips

  • Store cleaning products, gasoline, and other chemicals in their proper bins recommended being in bins with locked lid for child safety
  • Keep all tools in proper working condition and away from child’s reach with sharp edges covered and wires or cords rolled tightly to prevent trips or another injury
  • Store ladders properly away from children that may climb
  • Keep batteries stored properly
  • Keep any flammable liquids or fumes away from open flame
  • Drain all lawn equipment of gasoline when not infrequent use
  • Consider locking garage opener at night
  • Consider cover for garage opener to prevent a small child from opening
  • Do not leave keys in cars, any valuables, or medicine in the car for security safety and child safety.
  • Do not leave the garage door opener in the car if parked outside the garage
  • Set home security systems to include your garage door.

Exterior & Interior Walls, Flooring, Windows & Roofing

  • Maintain exterior and interior walls for cracks, water damage such as mold, mildew or decay and check for evidence of pest damage
  • Regular maintenance of windows and doors for proper functioning, condition, caulk, and prevention of water leaks; maintain tightness for energy efficiency, prevent weather damage and prevent decay and damage
  • Chimney inspection prior to use annually
  • Maintain the condition of your exterior if is siding, wood, brick, or other material and have a professional inspect as needed.
  • Check for cracks, paint wear or chips, water damage or mortar cracks, or damage such as settling cracks.
  • Maintain the condition of walls and repair as soon as possible.
  • Check for signs of paint wear, water damage on walls, tape on sheetrock detaching, nail heads showing on ceiling or walls.
  • Have a professional inspect roof for any noticeable damage of shingles, flashing or gutter leaks.
  • Check and maintain crawlspace and attic space for signs of moisture, damage, leaks, pests problems, insulation wear, and unsteady damaged flooring or roof.
  • Maintain area of the home from debris such as leaves, bushes, branches from outside heating and air units, and near the chimney, roof furnace, and gutters.
  • Maintain proper condition and function of your gutters and install drains or French drains as needed to avoid erosion in your yard or on your exterior home.
  • Check for roots of trees or bushes that may grow into the foundation of the home and damage the foundation, walls, and plumbing
  • Maintain yard for safety in walking and safety from pests or critters
  • Have annual termite coverage for your home and monitor for signs of termite damage.
  • Repair any flooring or yard fall hazards and install rails or grab bars where needed for safety in climbing and walking
  • Repair any doors or windows for proper opening and closing and tight fit for energy conservation and to prevent weather damage or water damage
  • Repair any flooring where cracks, water damage or other signs of injury potential present such as broken tile or torn carpet or linoleum Monitor and have inspected any areas where the foul odor is detected Install moisture barrier in crawl space and allow for adequate ventilation
  • DURING HIGH TEMPERATURES. Cover vents in crawl space in winter to help heat home and keep unwanted pests crawling under the home. The crawl area should be clean of any items that may attract small animals.
  • cover crawl space vents during cold weather season for energy conservation and keep critters out from under home Cover holes outside the home to prevent unwanted animals in attic or basement or crawl space

Yard Safety

  • Use sun protection Use eye protection when using any power tools or yard equipment
  • Use skin protection such has work gloves
  • Never use equipment without proper protective shoes
  • Use safety steps prior to using yard equipment or any power tools: check equipment for loose or broken parts/pieces; always let someone know you will be using equipment so you can be monitored periodically in the event of an accident; take a phone with you if possible; always check for the safety of other adults and children in the area of equipment use
  • Check blades or sharp devices on equipment prior to use for proper working condition and for any loose parts
  • Keep the grass cut and bushes trimmed to keep uninvited pests or rodents in the yard
  • Never leave standing water in the yard or around the home that is not treated to decrease the attraction of bugs and other uninvited pests or animals
    • Consider a fence that is at least 4 foot in height and child safety rails/bars with a lock if you have any water areas on your property such as the following:
    • Pool, hot tub, well, small pool, lake, pond, large fountain, large or small fish pond
  • Consider alarms on water equipment or devices for child safety; check all laws for required fencing if a pool is on-premises.
  • Use fire safety prevention with the use or presence of grills or other gas appliance or open flame structure and have a fire extinguisher near
  • Be aware and know the symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning

Garage Safety & Outdoor Storage Safety

  • Store cleaning products, gasoline, and other chemicals in their proper bins recommended being in bins with locked lid for child safety
  • Keep all tools in proper working condition and away from child’s reach with sharp edges covered and wires or cords rolled tightly to prevent trips or another injury
  • Store ladders properly away from children that may climb
  • Keep batteries stored properly
  • Keep any flammable liquids or fumes away from open flame
  • Drain all lawn equipment of gasoline when infrequently used
  • Consider locking garage opener at night
  • Consider cover for garage opener to prevent a small child from opening
  • Do not leave keys in cars, any valuables or medicine in the car for security safety and child safety.
  • Do not leave garage door opener in the car if parked outside the garage
  • Set an alarm system to include your garage door.

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