Your home should not put your safety at risk. Skipping home maintenance and necessary repairs can increase the likelihood that you or someone you care about may injure themselves on your property or in your home. Unintentional injuries can result from electrical shocks, cuts, fires and more in or around the home. How can a homeowner do their utmost to prevent such accidents?
Regular maintenance can help homeowners keep family members and guests safer on their property. Understand what to include as part of the routine maintenance tasks and repairs to reduce potential injury risk in and around a home.
Older homes may require extensive electrical work and replacing old wiring or a circuit breaker may be necessary to insure the safety of the electric system. However, new construction homes may also experience an electrical problem over the years and a minor shock is not the worst of the issues that may occur when an issue goes ignored. When purchasing a new home, a thorough inspection is important for finding any hidden issues like these before moving in. Flickering lights and outlets that are not working properly may be signs of a problem. It is important for homeowners to know which electrical problems they may be able to safely handle themselves and those that should be turned over to be addressed by a licensed electrician. Electrical shocks and electrical fires can be deadly.
Windows may break and a homeowner may need to spend an hour or two to replace a broken window pane and remove broken glass. This will help prevent the likelihood that someone in the home will be injured by coming into contact with a sharp shard of glass. But this is not the only reason to repair a broken window. Other aspects of older windows, such as broken latches, may make it easy for an intruder to get inside a home. Address such problems as part of a home’s regular maintenance. Remember to wear long gloves and cover any exposed skin when repairing a window and dealing with broken glass.
Mowing and Landscaping
It is important to address the exterior as well as the interior of a home in order to prevent an accident. Mowing the lawn regularly, trimming back bushes and trees, raking and snow removal are all important aspects of regular home maintenance. Keeping paths clear of debris and addressing uneven steps or pathways can help a homeowner avoid experiencing a slip and fall on their own property.
Do a Walkthrough
Walk throughout the rooms and entryways of a home to make note of any areas that may pose a potential hazard. Those homes with elderly residents may require additional attention to reduce the potential of a fall, such as the installation of grab bars and non-skid pads in showers. Make repairs to warped wooden floors, loose floorboards and railings to reduce the possibility of an accident. For homes that may be visited by those with mobility issues, extra precautions with rugs and exposed wiring may need to be taken to prevent an injury. Performing a safety inventory of a home should take into account the needs of and potential risks posed to all occupants and visitors, such as elderly parents, young children and pets.
Hurricane Irma, a potentially catastrophic Category 5 hurricane, may pose a serious threat to Florida and parts of the Southeast beginning this weekend. We wanted to quickly reach out to you and make sure that you and your family are up to date and fully prepared for any potential weather conditions that may strike your area.
Basic Preparedness Tips
- Know where to go. If you are ordered to evacuate, know the local hurricane evacuation route(s) to take and have a plan for where you can stay. Contact your local emergency management agency for more information.
- Take photos or a video of everything inside your home.
- Stock up on water and non-perishable food items.
- Prepare an emergency kit in a waterproof container or bag. Include your insurance documents, other important documents (e.g. birth certificates and vehicle registrations), flashlight, batteries, cash, first aid supplies, phone chargers and prescription bottles. Keep this kit with you.
- Click here to access your insurance policy information and a list of all our carriers and their claims numbers. (Scroll to the bottom for the list)
- Designate an out-of-area contact that your family members can call in case you are separated.
- If there is time, board up windows and place sandbags around your property.
- If you are not in an area that is advised to evacuate and you decide to stay in your home, plan for adequate supplies in case you lose power and water for several days and you are not able to leave due to flooding or blocked roads.
- Make a family emergency communication plan.
- Many communities have text or email alerting systems for emergency notifications. To find out what alerts are available in your area, search the Internet with your town, city, or county name and the word “alerts.”
Preparing Your Home
- Turn off breaker boxes prior to evacuating: This will help prevent electrical surges from destroying your appliances. Also, in the event of water infiltration, it prevents shorts that can lead to fires.
- Never drive through standing water. Underlying currents could carry your vehicle away or trap you in rising floodwaters. Find an alternate route. Know your evacuation route and follow the direction of your state and local officials.
- Hurricane winds can cause trees and branches to fall, so before hurricane season trim or remove damaged trees and limbs to keep you and your property safe.
- Secure loose rain gutters and downspouts and clear any clogged areas or debris to prevent water damage to your property.
- Reduce property damage by retrofitting to secure and reinforce the roof, windows and doors, including the garage doors.
- Purchase a portable generator or install a generator for use during power outages. Remember to keep generators and other alternate power/heat sources outside, at least 20 feet away from windows and doors and protected from moisture; and NEVER try to power the house wiring by plugging a generator into a wall outlet.
Hurricane watch = conditions possible within the next 48 hrs.
Steps to take:
Hurricane warning = conditions are expected within 36 hrs.
Steps to take:
- Follow evacuation orders from local officials, if given.
- Check-in with family and friends by texting or using social media.
- Follow the hurricane timeline preparedness checklist, depending on when the storm is anticipated to hit and the impact that is projected for your location.
To see the full overview of recommended hurricane preparedness tips, visit ready.gov/hurricanes.
As always, you can count on us to be there to answer any coverage questions you may have!