Safety goes beyond handing your home’s spare key to your neighbour—walk through this home safety checklist with your contractor before releasing the final payment.
Innumerable safety issues emerge from lousy residential inspections.
From uncovered duct wires to an un-levelled driveway, your home can be vulnerable to unseen dangers lurking around. Usually, homeowners receive a safety inspection report from their contractor through a pre-arranged safety walkthrough. Burglaries, fire breakouts, electrical explosions, water clogging, or even in-home accidents can set you back by thousands of dollars in remediation efforts, to say nothing of the heartburn experienced as a result.
Safety-proofing your home goes without saying but not all homeowners are aware of issues needing attention until after it’s too late. Through this post, we outline specifics for each section of your home, facilitating a comprehensive safety evaluation to hold your contractor and yourself accountable toward. Unless you’re up to speed with home safety audits, concrete steps will be skipped that potentially widens chances of mishaps and emergencies. In construction circles, contractors often use what’s referred to as a punch list. It enlists pending or problematic items that must be closed before they can declare a project closeout. Read this post to discover how effective punch lists are created and take away much-needed insights to formulating your own for a thorough home construction inspection.
Here’s how to get started on your home safety inspection.
Home Inspection Overview
A safety audit involves vetting both the major and mundane items. From shoring up locks on all doors to fixing up lighting systems, a fool-proof security system will tell you what to do when you’re house has been burgled, facing fire threats, or how to handle a pipe burst causing a flood.
Issues highlighted in an audit are then inspected either through monthly or yearly inspections. Items whose operational efficiency should be tested in monthly inspections include:
- Check if fire extinguishers are working and present on every level of your home
- Check deadbolt locks and window screens
- Check electrical wires and outlets
- Check water pressure through all pipes
- Check ventilation in all sleeping and common-use rooms
Items That Must Be Inspected Yearly:
- Check home equipment and appliances such as smoke alarms, water heater, heating-cooling systems, gas stoves and electric space heaters
- Check yard fencing, driveway, wall and floor work, and passageways
- Check roofing with a good pair of binoculars, chimney functioning, and sewage
- Check ceiling-wall-floor joints for paint chip-offs, rot, mould, dankness, and warpedness
Getting a big-picture perspective narrows down your focus to open items within each item—let’s dig them one by one.
Electrical and Fire System Checklist
- Inspect smoke alarm batteries, lighting fixtures, and electrical cords and outlets for safe functioning.
- Ensure every family member knows the proper use and maintenance schedule for this equipment and fixtures.
- Chart two escape routes for fire breakouts and flooding; ensure escape equipment is positioned in accessible areas of the home
- Check kitchen, laundry, garage, room electricity-run devices and fixtures for safe use. Ensure they’re out of reach of small children and that they understand the protocol in case of electrical emergencies.
- Check all utility connections to see if repairs or maintenance are on the cards. Ensure everyone knows how to use main electrical switchboards and to call mechanics in emergencies.
- Keep hazardous materials, combustible items, and other unused but dangerous substances safely wrapped in storage areas under lock.
- Ensure you’ve got your plumbing mechanic’s number to treat any possible gas or water leaks. You should have a copy of the emergency procedure at hand for whence no one’s available during urgencies.
- Ensure no wires are hanging out of walls. Prevent hazard at the slightest hunch of a small glitch.
- Avoid using extension cords running across rooms. Ensure every room has accessible electrical outlets.
- Inspect your fireplace and cooking range for insulation repairs or possible harmful contact with lethal material lying unattended.
- Ensure any wooden furniture, floor work, or other fixtures are kept at safe distance from heating outlets and fireplaces.
Family Safety Checklist
- Ensure blinds are installed on all windows to avoid unwanted peeking and exposure.
- Ensure window screens aren’t on the outside—a common astonishing mistake—and have it rectified immediately.
- Don’t leave window latches uninspected. Many old latches don’t show obvious signs of breakage and must be replaced preferably without a second thought.
- Ensure your alarm system works fairly well to detect intruders. Install motion-sensing lighting in the front yard.
- Teach children your address and phone number for emergencies.
- Ensure safety locks work properly.
- Ensure vaults and home safe is intact and everyone knows where to find important items and documents.
- Ensure you share spare keys/keyless passwords with a trusted family friend.
- Always store valuables where you or anyone else can conveniently find them.
- When away, ensure your house looks lived-in to deter intruders and unwelcome visitors.
- Store sharp tools and heavy equipment in designated areas far from common areas and combustible places in your house.
- Ensure no loose tiles, warped carpeting, cracked foundation and driveway, attic dampness, wall cracks.
- Clean up leftover dust, spills, and unattended materials immediately after all work’s completed to avoid accidents
- Install a home surveillance system for round-the-clock monitoring and biometric verifications as checks to prevent hacks and infiltrations.
- Ensure remote controls of automated home equipment are under a responsible person’s watch or possession.
- Ensure ventilation systems work across rooms to avoid dampness and a dingy air quality harming respiration.
- Keep kitchen and bath faucets equipped with anti-scalding devices.
- Ensure you’re using the right cleaning agent for different surfaces to avoid accidental burns, spoilage, and harmful contact.
- Dispose of e-waste responsibly and have separate garbage bins for organic and inorganic waste.
- Ensure family members know responsible use of high-maintenance installations such as a pool and furnaces.
- Ensure yards are well-mowed and gnarly bushes and tree extensions are cut regularly.
- Ensure all spots on your property are well-lit and visible to deter hiding attempts from miscreants and burglars.
- Ensure the patio and front porch are evened out with proper landscaping and grading. Check all grab bars and rails are firmly installed while keeping pathways clean and unobstructed to avoid trips and slips.
- Invite a home safety specialist for a detailed inspection to see if any obvious and latent risks have gone unnoticed.
- Install weather alert systems tailored to your city’s environmental conditions.
- Ensure all general use objects are placed properly in cabinets and storage spaces without the remotest potential for injuries.
Home construction safety is an inexcusable cause that must be dealt with pre-emptively. Keep your safety checklists updated and modified in line with construction upgrades and fixes from time to time. Your home’s safety is as much as your responsibility as your contractor’s, but know that your awareness will ultimately determine the safety of your family.