Here is a general checklist for you to 'hazard spot', so that you can check your home so that you can try to avoid some of the hazards to prevent accidents or obtain further advice.
- Are carpets and other floor finishes properly fitted down?
- Are loose mats non-slip on the underside?
- Is lighting good at changes in floor level, steps and stairs?
- Stairways and landings protected safely? Do they have handrails?
- Are windows child safe? Can you still get out in an emergency?
- Is any low level glazing properly fitted with safety glass?
- Do floors, stairs or other parts of the building seem unsafe in other ways?
- Are anti-topple brackets fitted to cookers and cooker safety guards where children are present?
- Are work surfaces sufficient to keep children away from kettles and other hot or sharp objects? Do they fit close enough to both sides of the cooker to help stop children from reaching pan handles?
- Are self-closing fire doors, smoke detectors, fire alarms and emergency lighting fitted and maintained?
- Is a fire blanket provided in the kitchen area? Do you know how to use it?
- In a fire, could you leave the building by the front door without using a key and reach a place of safety?
- Do gas appliances work properly? Is there discolouring around gas fires or the top of water heaters?
- Have you seen the Gas Safety Certificate that the landlord should get for your home each year?
- Do electrical wires trail where they can be damaged, be in contact with water or be a trip hazard?
- Are electrical sockets overloaded, overheating, or giving electric shocks? Are wires old or damaged?
- Is furniture labelled as complying with fire regulations and a warning that 'Carelessness causes fire'?
- Do people who are young, elderly, have a disability or who are otherwise less able to react to an accident or emergency situation live in or visit your home? Is special care, advice or help needed?
Some useful telephone numbers:
Emergency Services - 999
Gas Emergencies - call British Gas - 0800 111 999
Environmental Services (Domestic Team) - 01353 665555
NHS Direct - 0845 4647