No matter how old you are, there’s no place more important to keep safe than your home. Last year, more than one million people 65 years and older were treated in hospital emergency rooms for injuries associated with products in the home. Frequently, accidents occur because of lack of maintenance. As you get older, so too do the things around you. And just like you go in for regular check ups, you need to give your home a safety check up, too.

Take a walk through your home, and use the following checklist to spot possible safety hazards. If you spot a potential problem, take the appropriate action to fix it immediately.

  • Kitchen – Make sure all your appliances bear the UL Mark. Check all electrical cords for fraying or cracking; step stools for splitting or cracking materials; and throw rugs for tripping hazards like bumps and turned-up corners.
  • Living room – Check all rugs and runners; electrical cords; lamps and other lighting; inspect the fireplace and chimney for fire hazards; and make sure all passageways are clear.
  • Bathroom – Make sure all small appliances bear the UL Mark. Check bathtub and shower, rugs and mats for slipping hazards; the water for possible burn hazard; and cabinets for safe storage of medications.
  • Bedrooms – Check rugs and runners; electrical and telephone cords; and make sure the area around the bed is clear of items that could cause tripping.
  • Basement/garage/workshop – Make sure all power tools bear the UL Mark. Check fuse and breaker boxes for possible malfunction and shock and fire hazards; cords on tools and extension cords; and lawn and garden tools and supplies. Check for proper ventilation and make sure flammable liquids are stored properly.
  • Stairs – Check for proper lighting on and around stairways; handrails and steps for possible defects or weaknesses; and stair coverings for possible tripping hazards.