MAKING THE HOME SAFE
This checklist points out what you should do to prevent falls and other nasty occurrences in your home, both for your own safety and for that of your visitors. It’s a partial list taken from “The Safe Living Guide” prepared by the Public Health Agency of Canada. The entire document, which contains much useful advice can be seen at this link www.phac-aspc.gc.ca/seniors-aines/publications/public/injury-blessure/safelive-securite/chap4-eng.php
Much additional information and advice to seniors is available at www.seniorsinfo.ca/en/welcome the seniors website of the Province of Ontario. The materials here taken from that website are protected by Crown copyright (unless otherwise indicated), which is held by the Queen's Printer for Ontario.
- Do all your entrances have an outdoor light?
- Do your outdoor stairs, pathways or decks have railings and provide good traction (i.e. textured surfaces)?
- Are the front steps and walkways around your house in good repair and free of clutter, snow or leaves?
- Do the doorways to your balcony or deck have a low sill or threshold?
- Can you reach your mailbox safely and easily?
- Is the number of your house clearly visible from the street and well lit at night?
- Are all rooms and hallways in your home well lit?
- Are all throw rugs and scatter mats secured in place to keep them from slipping?
- Have you removed scatter mats from the top of the stairs and high traffic areas?
- Are your high traffic areas clear of obstacles?
- Do you always watch that your pets are not underfoot?
- If you use floor wax, do you use the non-skid kind?
- Do you have a first aid kit and know where it is?
- Do you have a list of emergency numbers near all phones?
- Are your stairways well lit and do you have light switches at the top and bottom of the stairs?
- Are your stairs in good repair and free of clutter?
- Do the steps of your stairs have a non-skid surface?
- Are there solid handrails on both sides of the stairway (height of 36 to 39 inches [90 to 100 cm])?
- Do you remove your reading glasses when using the stairs?
- Do you test the water temperature before you get into the bathtub or shower?
- Is your hot water temperature set to the recommended 49°C (120°F)?
- Do you have non-slip surfaces in the tub or shower?
- Do bath mats next to the tub or shower have rubberized backing or are they secured in place to keep them from slipping?
- Do you have a night light in the bathroom?
- Does your bathroom door lock have an emergency release?
- Do you have grab bars that have been properly placed and well anchored to the wall in the bathtub or shower?
- If you have any trouble getting on and off the toilet, do you have a raised toilet seat and a grab bar that is well anchored?
- If it’s difficult for you to take a shower standing up, have you considered a bath seat?
- Are your pots and pans, canned goods and staple foods stored in an easy to reach location—between knee and shoulder heights?
- Are heavy items stored in the lower cupboards and light items in the higher cupboards?
- Do you have a stable step stool (with a safety rail) for reaching high places?
- Are the “off” and “on” positions on the stove dials clearly marked?
- Are your oven mitts within easy reach when cooking?
- Do you make sure never to cook while wearing loose-fitting clothing or sleepwear?
- Do you have a fire extinguisher in the kitchen, mounted on the wall away from the stove?
- Do you regularly check that your fire extinguisher is in good operating order?
- Is there a light switch near the entrance to your bedroom?
- Do you have a lamp or a light switch near your bed?
- Do you keep night lights or other sources of light on in case you get up in the middle of the night?
- Is there a clear path from your bed to the bathroom?
- Do you have a phone and a list of emergency phone numbers near your bed?
- Are your workroom and laundry room well lit?
- Do you have a telephone in the basement and a list of emergency phone numbers?
- Do you keep floors and benches clean to reduce fire and tripping hazards?
- Are all your tools and service equipment in good condition? Are the safety locks on?
- Is your work area well ventilated, summer and winter?
- Are heavy items on lower shelves or in bottom cupboards?
- Do you use a ladder or a stable step stool (with a safety rail) for reaching high places?
- Are all chemicals, such as bleach, cleaners and paint thinners clearly identified?
- Are flammable materials stored as indicated by the directions on the label and away from sources of heat and flame?
- If you have a gas barbecue, is your propane tank stored outside of the house?
Childproofing (a must, for doting grandparents)
- Have you removed items from your lower surfaces to prevent breakage, injury and spills?
- Are all medications and pill boxes stored out of reach?
- Are your cleaning products and paints out of reach?
- Have you installed safety catches on your cupboards and medicine cabinet doors?
- Have you purchased safety gates for stairs or unsafe rooms?
- Is there a safety latch on your stove and dishwasher?
- Are extension, telephone and venetian blind cords out of children’s way?
- Are your garage and workshop locked with deadbolts installed high on the doors