Gather the family and spend an hour this month walking through your home. Anything in your home that can move, fall, break or cause a fire during an emergency is a home hazard. Below is a checklist to help you locate and minimize potential hazards in your home. Check off each box as it is completed.
☐Secure large furniture, pictures, mirror and hanging light fixtures to avoid having them fall during an earthquake.
☐Ensure all carpets and area rugs are secured to the floor to avoid tripping hazards.
☐Keep blind and curtain draw strings out of the reach of small children to avoid the potential for strangulation.
☐Move breakable or heavy objects to lower shelves.
☐Keep beds away from windows to avoid the potential for injury from broken glass.
☐Avoid the “electrical octopus” by having only the minimum number of items and surge protectors plugged directly into wall outlets.
☐Have GFCI (Ground Fault Circuit Interrupt) outlets installed in the kitchen and bathrooms.
☐Do not have electrical cords running under the carpet and ensure that cords are not bent, frayed or damaged to avoid a potential fire.
☐Ensure surge protectors are plugged directly into the wall and not overloaded.
☐Do not run electrical cords under carpet or rugs to avoid a potential fire hazard from the cord getting hot and setting the carpet or rug on fire.
☐Secure all electronic equipment to prevent it from falling. If electronic equipment is malfunctioning, repair or replace it to avoid a potential fire.
☐Ensure gas appliances are working properly to avoid a potential fire.
☐Have your house and dryer vents inspected and cleaned on a routine basis to avoid a potential fire hazard. If your dryer does not dry as well as it used to, or there is a burning smell near the dryer, it is time to have a professional come and clean the vents. Always empty the lint trap in your dryer after each use.
☐Secure cabinet doors to keep them from opening and contents coming out.
☐Make sure that entry and exit ways out of all rooms are free from obstruction.
☐Have the appropriate number of smoke detectors and a carbon monoxide detector installed in your home.
☐Store hazardous liquids on bottom shelves using the L.I.E.S method (Limit, Isolate, Eliminate, Separate) to avoid a potential fire.
☐Have a fire extinguisher readily available in the kitchen, garage, and any other areas for quick access should you need to extinguish a small fire.
☐When cooking, do not wear loose clothing and do not leave cooking item unattended.
☐Keep pan handles turned in to the back of the stove and have a pan lid nearby in case you need to extinguish a small pan fire.
☐Ensure your water heater is secured to the wall and connections are flexible. Securing the water heater is a requirement by law for all new installations.
☐Ensure reinforcements are in place, as needed, for the house and chimney.
☐Have your chimney inspected and cleaned routinely.
More info at: westpierce.org