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Thursday 9 February 2023 Dublin: 2°C
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7 simple ways to make your home a lot safer
Cover all your home safety bases.

OUR HOME IS our castle.

It’s where we keep all of our most precious belongings – and no, we don’t mean that flat screen telly. We’re talking about our families and the memories we all make together under the same roof.

And aren’t those the things in life worth keeping as safe as possible?

Here’s a little starter checklist on making sure your house is covering the safety basics.

1. Fire guard

Fire prevention and detection are key, but yet oftentimes we can buy a smoke alarm and then think the job is done. You need an alarm on at least every floor or level in your home and you should test it weekly. (If you’re in rented accommodation, remember that your landlord is obliged to provide you with not only smoke alarms but also a fire blanket for the kitchen. Apartment blocks must also have emergency lighting in common areas.)

Holiday Fire Safety - Burning candle State Farm State Farm

2. Bright sparks

There are also some simple ways to make sure your home is safe when it comes to electricity. For example, make sure you place lamps on level surfaces and away from flammable items – and always use the recommended wattage bulbs in light fixtures. Always replace or repair damaged or loose cords. Avoid running extension cables across doorways or under carpets/rugs. If you have kids in the house, make sure your home has tamper-resistant sockets.

Plug Socket willjackson.eu willjackson.eu

3. Close ‘em up

Before bed every night, close over all your internal doors. If the worst arises and a fire does happen, this can slow down its progress in your home. It’s a good habit to get into, along with emptying all ashtrays before bed if you smoke and cleaning your chimney once a year. Don’t overload sockets, avoid smoking when tired, and don’t leave burning candles unattended.

Ashtray Lenny Montana Lenny Montana

4. Lock and key

According to research conducted by Millward Brown in Ireland in 2015, 17 per cent of respondents said they didn’t always bother locking their door when they left the house unattended. It goes without saying that being trusting doesn’t cut it here: always, always lock your house up when you’re leaving. 47 per cent said they don’t have a house alarm, which is also worth looking into for your home’s optimal security.

Without key akk_rus akk_rus

5. Holiday help

If you’re heading away for a break, you might feel nervous about leaving the house unattended. As well as asking friends and neighbours to keep an eye, there are some other easy ways to protect yourself and set your mind at ease.

Here a handy holiday checklist:

  • Lock up windows and doors, put on your alarm
  • Don’t leave your precious and personal valuables on view (so hide that laptop)
  • Cancel deliveries (and maybe ask a neighbour to collect junk mail if you’re going away for a longer period)
  • Use timer lights to make it look as though someone is home, or look into security lighting
  • Don’t post your plans on social media

Pile of junk mail Judith E. Bell Try to avoid letting post accumulate Judith E. Bell

6. The little ones

Most injuries to kids under five happen in the home. If you have kids, you’ve probably already been through the rigmarole of baby-proofing the house – but have you made sure it’s been kept up as they get older? Physical access (to things like stairs and windows) and electrical safety are key, but don’t forget about chemicals or medicines left out for curious hands. Here’s a handy checklist.

Baby on board blondinrikard blondinrikard

7. The silent killer

Many people don’t know that they should have a carbon monoxide alarm in every single room that has a fuel-burning appliance or heating device. Ensure your alarms are up to EU standards and are tested regularly and know the signs of carbon monoxide poisoning – dizziness, headache, nausea and drowsiness. Carbon monoxide is odourless, colourless and can kill in minutes, so the alarms are key. Check out this short video on how to best install them.

ei electronics / YouTube

Got any tips for home safety? Share the wealth in the comments.

And one final very important home safety tip… Getting electrical work done in your home? A Registered Electrical Contractor must complete it. It is illegal for anyone other than a REC to carry out electrical work in your home or portray themselves as registered. Find out more at safeelectric.ie.

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