• Make sure furnaces, fireplaces, wood-burning stoves, space heaters, and gas appliances are vented properly and inspected annually.
  • Don’t hide a spare key under the doormat or a flowerpot – burglars know the good hiding places.
  • Have your home tested for radon.
  • Keep an updated list of emergency telephone numbers next to every phone in your home.
  • Have a plan in case of natural disasters; and make sure your family knows the plan.
  • Keep cleaning solutions, pesticides, and other potentially dangerous substances in their original, labeled containers, and out of reach of children.
  • Invest in solid doors and good quality locks for your doors and windows.
  • Always double check door and windows to make sure they are locked.
  • Plant thorny bushes under all windows, and trim back trees or shrubs near doors and windows to eliminate hiding places for would-be burglars.
  • Invest in an affordable alarm system.
  • Do not put valuables in places where they can be seen through windows.
  • Unplug appliances such as small bathroom and kitchen appliances when not in use.
  • Blow out candles before leaving a room, leaving the house, or going to sleep.
  • Have working smoke detectors on all levels of your home. Change batteries at least once a year, and replace smoke detectors that are more than ten years old.
  • Put child proof covers on unused electrical outlets.
  • Keep backyard or front yard areas safe from causing injuries. Fix broken steps, put ladders away, keep any chemicals locked away, fence in any body of water and keep gates locked.
  • Use correct light bulbs in all lamps and light fixtures.
  • Make sure electrical cords are in good condition.
  • Invest in a carbon monoxide detector.
  • Make sure your house numbers are visible both day and night.

Sources: HUD, ADT Home Security, Home Safety Services, Home Safety Council


Home Safety Council: This site provides many resources and helpful information to create a safer home.  There are brochures, checklists, and videos on topics ranging from fire safety, choking and suffocation prevention, poison prevention, child safety and safety room-by-room.

Home Inspector Locator: Preventative maintenance can avoid repairs, extend the life expectancy of many components and in some cases, reduce energy consumption. This site provides a guide for you to accomplish a good home maintenance plan.