If you’re opening your home to extended family over the holidays, you might be worried about making it safe for young children or elderly relatives as well as your own offspring. So, with December now upon us, the time has come to break out your toolbox and start fixing wobbly handrails, broken locks, and unsteady flooring in time for the holidays.
If you live in a rental home, speak to your landlord about any safety issues – landlords have a legal duty to make your home habitable. If your landlord doesn’t meet his or her responsibilities and this negligence causes an accident, you should contact a Houston personal injury attorney, as you may be entitled to compensation.
To prevent an injury happening in the first place, here’s how to family-proof you home in time for holidays.
Inside Your Home
The inside of your home is a minefield of accidents waiting to happen. Here are just some of the areas you should address.
Flooring: Loose rugs can be hazardous to everyone, so make sure you fix down curled corners using tape or underlay. You can buy children’s play mats inexpensively, and these usually stay put on their own, so this is an excellent option if you want to protect your carpets from sticky fingers while keeping the kids safe.
Chairs: Do you want that wobbly chair to break during dinner? Fix it now, or replace it to avoid an accident during the holidays. You may want to buy covers for your favorite sofas, just in case someone spills their mulled wine or the kids smear chocolate fingers on your best upholstery.
Power Sockets: For some reason, young children can’t resist sticking their fingers into plug sockets. This can be dangerous if the switch is on, so buy socket protectors to stop anyone getting electrocuted.
Stairs: Stairs are dangerous for relatives both young and old, so use stair gates to stop little people taking a tumble. If you’re worried about the accessibility of your home for elderly or disabled visitors, you could rent a stair lift for the holiday season to ensure they stay safe.
Outside Your Home
Depending on the weather where you live, your outside space can become especially hazardous during winter time. Here’s how to minimize the risks.
Lights: Your visitors will probably have to navigate your entrance in the dark, so make it easy for them by replacing dead bulbs with new ones and keeping your driveway well lit.
Front Steps: If you have a particularly steep front step, there’s not much you can do to make it safer, except perhaps using a brightly colored doormat to make it more visible. Your best bet is to warn visitors of the trip hazard or invite them in using another entrance.
Snow: If you’re lucky enough to get some snow this winter, you will have your work cut out for you, as you will need to clear this space regularly to avoid slips and falls.
A house full of close family and friends makes for a joyous occasion, but it can quickly turn disastrous if someone takes a fall. Take care to family-proof your home this winter, and enjoy a season free from accident or injury.