Home and garden safety checklists
Home and Garden Safety
A common sense guide to home safety
RoSPA is actively working with developers and housing providers to improve the safety of homes through simple modifications to the building fabric. This alone is insufficient to take away all the risks.
Householders need to be aware and informed to benefit from improved safety measures and to develop a safe lifestyle.
Home safety checklist
- Avoid trips, slips and falls by ensuring halls and stairways are always well lit and free from clutter
- Change light bulbs safely, without the risk of falling by using a stable step-stool. Avoid using old chairs to climb on
- Stay safe from fire by testing smoke alarms monthly and be sure all the family know how to escape in the event of a fire
- Avoid burns and scalds, particularly to children, by always using the cooker's back ring or hotplate first and position panhandles so that they can't be pulled over and by keeping hot drinks out of reach of children
- Reduce the likelihood of household fires and carbon monoxide poisoning from faulty flues or equipment by having gas, oil or solid fuel heating appliances professionally serviced once a year
- Reduce the risk of electrical fires and electrocution by never using appliances with cracked plugs or worn cables. Avoid overloading electric sockets with too many appliances
- Avoid fire risks by using guards with all fires and heaters and keep clothing, furniture and curtains away from all heat sources, including candles
- To minimise the risk of falls from windows, install and use restrictor catches on all upstairs windows and place furniture away from windows
- Reduce trips, slips and falls by always quickly cleaning up spills
- Poisoning or chemical burns can be prevented storing medicines and household chemicals out of sight and out of reach of children, preferably in a secure, high-level kitchen cupboard
- Avoid bath time scalds by running cold water before hot and carefully testing water temperature, particularly before bathing children who should never be let unattended
- Don't risk electrocution by taking electrical appliances into the bathroom. Water is a good conductor of electricity so you should never touch electrical appliances with wet hands.
Garden safety checklist
- Protect yourself from electrocution by always using a residual current device (RCD) when operating electrically powered garden tools and mowers
- Avoid poisoning and chemical burns by storing chemicals for use in garage or garden safely out of sight and out of reach of children, preferably in a secure cabinet
- Reduce the risk of small children drowning by securely fencing or filling in garden ponds or water features and always supervising children near water
- Avoid accidents and injury when doing DIY tasks by always operating within the range of your skills, ability and experience. Always use personal protective equipment including gloves, goggles, helmet, and facemask and safety shoes as appropriate and recommended for the task and follow manufacturers instructions
- Avoid injury from falls by always checking a ladders condition before use and using at a safe angle (1 in 4)
- Avoid injury from sharp garden tools to users or children by keeping them in good repair and safely tidied away after use. Keep children safely away whenever using lawnmowers, doing DIY projects or household repairs
- Prevent accidental poisoning or injuries to yourself or others by carefully following manufacturers instructions when using weed killers, adhesives and solvents. Never transfer to alternative containers that could confuse and lead to poisonings
- Prevent injury from trips, slips and falls, by providing safety rails and barriers to changes in garden levels and ensure all paths and steps are level, stable and free from moss
- Avoid uncontrollable fires by always siting bonfires and barbecues well away from fences, sheds and trees. Supervise children all the time
- Barbecues should be fun, and will be safe if you prepare properly. RoSPA has produced a Barbecue Safety Factsheet that advises that barbecue lovers should take a number of precautions.