What Is a Home Safety Assessment and Do You Need One?
The point of choosing and buying a home is that you feel 100% safe and comfortable in it. That applies not only to you and your family but anyone who visits your home, too.
Buying a home is probably one of the most significant investments you’ll ever make. So you want to make sure it’s worth your while and will stand you in good stead for the years to come.
Learn when a home safety assessment is necessary and why it’s essential; this blog outlines it all.
What’s Involved with a Home Safety Assessment?
There are two significant types of home safety checks. The first is essential for assessing the general safety and liveability of your home. The second is to determine the accessibility of your home concerning those with limited mobility.
Security consultants or insurance agents usually perform home assessments. If you need to check the safety and accessibility of your home, an occupational therapist can do this for you.
Generally, they will highlight any safety issues, and either recommends specific corrections or refer you to the right professional.
A general home safety assessment covers the following:
- The full function of smoke alarms
- Secure and sturdy handrails
- An adequately lit front door area
- Fully functional door locks
- A fully functional home security system, if you have one.
When is a general home safety assessment necessary? When you are looking to purchase home insurance or swap out an insurance plan for another. It may also be worthwhile when looking to sell your home. This way, you can provide proof that your home checks out on all significant safety aspects.
Safety and accessibility assessment covers the following:
- Any possible trip and fall risks
- Wheelchair, walker, and vision-impaired accessibility
- Assessment of smoke and carbon dioxide detectors
- Adequate lighting at your home entrance, in hallways, stairwells, bedrooms, and the living room.
- Access to dangerous chemicals and other hazardous material
This type of assessment is a little more in-depth as is carried out by an occupational therapist. It may be necessary to have your home assessed when bringing in a frail, ill, or immobile parent, sibling, or any other family member.
Can You Perform Your Own General Safety Assessment?
It is possible to conduct your general safety assessment of your home. However, I highly recommend that you hire the expertise of a professional for the more in-depth accessibility assessment.
If you plan on doing a general safety assessment, always start with a checklist. You should obtain this checklist from a professional, such as your insurance agent.
Ultimately, they know what to look for, and it will make the entire process so much simpler.
How to Accurately Perform the Assessment
No matter how big or small your home is, there are probably way more aspects of safety you never considered before. Here’s how to break the assessment down:
1. Focus on Specific Areas
To simplify and streamline the process, break the evaluation into specific topics. I.e. home security, fire safety, accessibility, etc.
This way, you can cover several tasks at the same time, without becoming overwhelmed by all the smaller aspects.
Another way to break up the assessment is by focusing on specific rooms, or on particular needs. I.e. if you have a new baby coming into the home, you may want to focus on home preparation and safety for their arrival.
2. Be As Thorough As Possible
When it comes to doing the assessment yourself, don’t leave any stone unturned. Try to approach the assessment from an outsider point-of-view or as the insurance agent.
Be as thorough in all your checks as possible and make a list of things to check as you think of them. Don’t overlook anything, even the most mundane, everyday aspects of your home.
3. Divide Your Findings into Priority Levels
During a home assessment, you will most likely find a myriad of safety risks that crop up. Even if you thought your home was pretty safe. That is only natural when you’re actively on the look-out for safety issues.
When this happens, divide your findings into three main categories: general safety, security, and emergency planning.
It’s a well-known fact that most accidents tend to happen inside the home, and not outside. That is because we grow accustomed to space and begin to overlook issues that end up causing accidents.
That could be a poorly placed rug, a loose step or railing, a nagging drip, or excessive lint in the dryer. These seem like simple issues, but they often cause significant accidents. They are easy to fix and should be at the top of your to-do list.
Your assessment should also highlight where your home is most vulnerable. It should show you where it lacks preemptive security measures.
Some of these measures include motion-sensor lighting, shoring up locks on doors, or installing a security camera system. A home security system also doubles as an alarm system for smoke, fire, and flooding hazards.
Lastly, a home safety assessment should also highlight the type of emergency plan you have in place if things do go awry.
If you don’t have one, this is the right time to draw up a family emergency plan in the case of fire, flooding, earthquake, hurricane, or serious accidents.
Home Safety and DIY Tips Just a Click Away
Once you’ve done a home safety assessment and found issues that need fixing, could you not put them off? Set some time aside to do simple DIY fixes, or hire in professional expertise for those bigger jobs.
If you’re looking for more home security, safety, construction, electrical, and plumbing tips, be sure to explore this site for more.