Home safety tips to keep your family secure

by | May 7, 2023 | Health and Wellness

Your home is supposed to be your sanctuary. But there are many potential hazards lurking in the house. Here are some key safety tips to stay on top of.

Get a grip to avoid slips
Every stairway inside and outside your home should have a railing for people to hold on to as they climb. Ideally, you’ll have railings on both sides of the stairway, in case a family member has an injury or disability and cannot use one arm or hand to hold on. All stairways should be well lit, and each step should be the same height and depth as the others to prevent people from stumbling. If the surface gets slippery when wet, consider adding stick-on, anti-slip strips to each tread.

Set up home monitoring
Smart home technology makes it easy to turn on lights before you arrive, to see who’s at the door before opening it and can even alert you – or a caregiver – if an appliance has been left on. Home security systems can also be set up to notify you if a family member with Alzheimer’s disease or other cognitive issues leaves the home unexpectedly.

Clear the clutter
The safest home is a minimalist home: the less clutter you have, the less likely someone is to trip over something. Remove or secure floor mats and small area rugs to reduce tripping hazards. Anyone with young children knows the sharp pain of stepping on toys like blocks, cars or dolls. For older occupants, slipping on a child’s toy can be extremely dangerous. Tidy up kids’ toys as soon as they’re done playing with them.

Give hazards a heave-ho
If there are young children living in the home, grandkids who regularly visit or someone with cognitive concerns, there are many potential hazards that should be safely stored. Items such as household cleaning supplies, laundry detergent, kitchen knives and other sharp objects, and heavy objects within reach can cause serious injury. These items should be stored out of reach.

When determining changes to make sure your home is safe for people of all ages and abilities, consider turning to a health professional for guidance, such as a licensed occupational therapist (OT) who can do an in-home assessment for potential hazards.

Find more information and verify if an OT is properly licensed at the College of Occupational Therapists of Ontario’s website, coto.org/ot

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