Home Safety and Security Checklist

Directions: Use this list to identify accessibility, safety and security issues and fall hazards.

For each question,

  • Check YES if it describes the situation in the home.
  • Check NO if it is not a situation in the home.
  • Use the Action Taken to make notes when you have removed the hazard.

General Living Areas Yes No Action Taken
Is there adequate lighting throughout the house?
Are there night lights where needed?
Is home well ventilated?
Are all doorways accessible and easy to operate?
Are doors wide enough for a walker or wheelchair?
Are locks sturdy and easy to operate?
Is furniture arranged for good traffic flow?
Is there an uncluttered walking pathway?
If there are any changes in levels, are they obvious or marked in some way?
Is it easy to get up and down safely from chairs, sofas, and other seats?
Can the TV, radio, light or telephone be operated from the chair or sofa?
Are windows easy to use?
Is it necessary to walk over or around cords or wires (like cords from lamps, extension cords, or telephone cords)?
Are there any frayed or cracked cords or exposed wiring?
Are there any outlets or switches which are unusually warm or hot to touch?
Do all outlets and switches have cover plates so that no wiring is exposed?
Does any outlet have smudge marks indicating an electrical short has occurred around the socket where plugs are inserted?
Are cords attached to the walls, baseboards, etc., with nails or staples?
Are light bulbs the appropriate size and type for the lamp or fixture?
Do extension cords carry more than their proper load, as indicated by the rating labeled on the cord and the appliance?
Are there working smoke detectors on every floor?
Are the smoke detectors checked every six months?
Is there a carbon monoxide detector?
Is there a fire extinguisher and does someone in the home know how to use it?
Is the fire extinguisher inspected or checked on a regular basis?
Are small stoves or heaters placed where they cannot be knocked over and away from furnishings and flammable materials, such as curtains and rugs?
Is carpeting in good condition and not loose or torn?
Are throw rugs and runners slip-resistant or tacked or taped down?
Is the house free of pests?
If using floor wax, is it the non-skid type?
Are shelves well-secured to the wall and not overburdened with items that have the potential of falling?
Does the fireplace have a spark screen?
Has the chimney been cleaned in the last year?
Are the plumbing and utilities working?
Is the telephone readily available for emergencies?
Can the telephone ring be heard in all areas of the home?
Does the telephone have a volume control for increased hearing if necessary?
Are emergency phone numbers posted near each telephone?
Is there a first aid kit and manual handy?
If smoking in the home, are deep, wide ashtrays with grooves used?
If smoking in the home, are lit cigarettes never left unattended?
If smoking in the home, are ashtrays and furniture always checked before leaving the house or going to bed?
If smoking in the home, is it done safely by never doing so in bed or when drowsy?
Stairways Yes No Action Taken
Are secure handrails present?
Are there light switches at both the top and bottom of the stairs?
Are the stair treads deep enough for your whole foot?
Are the steps even and of the same size and height?
Are any of the steps broken or uneven?
Is there adequate lighting?
Has the stairway light bulb burned out?
Is the covering or carpet secure and in good condition?
Are the steps free of clutter?
Would a lift or ramp be feasible if it became necessary?
Are throw rugs and runners kept away from stairs and landings?
Kitchen Yes No Action Taken
Is the area over the stove, counters and sink well lit?
Are the appliances in working order and unplugged when not in use?
Are all extension and appliance cords located away from the sink or range areas?
Are the sink faucets easy to use?
Can the refrigerator and freezer be opened and closed easily?
Can the high and low cabinets be opened and closed easily?
Are cabinet doorknobs easy to use?
Is adequate workspace available and at the right height?
Is there seating available while working?
Are the dishes, pots, silverware, and food supply easily reached without climbing or bending?
Are cupboards and drawers kept closed to avoid bumping into them?
Are the stove controls easily reached and clearly marked?
Are ventilation systems or range exhausts functioning properly and are they in use while cooking?
Is there a timer available as a reminder to turn off the burner?
Are pot holders in easy reach but not hanging above the stove?
Are clothes with loose flowing sleeves avoided when cooking?
Are pot handles turned away from the edges of the stove and from other burners when cooking?
Can the stove door be opened and closed easily?
Are the outlets easily reached?
Can food be safely transported to eating area?
Are spills mopped up immediately?
Are sharp objects stored safely in protective racks?
Are flammables kept away from the stove area?
Is there a stable, well-maintained step stool with handles?
Are toxic products like cleaners, detergents, etc. stored separately from food?
Are toxic products kept in their original containers with their original labels?
Bathroom Yes No Action Taken
Can you safely transfer into the tub or shower?
Is there a tub bench or tub chair to assist with transfer into the tub or shower?
Are there grab bars where needed?
Is the bath mat skid-resistant?
Can you safely transfer to the toilet?
Is there a safety frame, raised seat or grab bar available to assist with transfer to the toilet?
Are the outlets within reach?
Are the light switches easy to use?
Are the sink and tub faucets, shower control and drain plugs easy to use?
Are soap, shampoo and towels within easy reach?
Are appliances such as hair dryers, shavers and radios kept away from water?
Are appliances unplugged when not in use?
Are hot water pipes covered?
Is the hot water heater regulated to prevent scalding or burning?
Is mirror height appropriate for both sitting and standing?
Is the medicine cabinet cleaned out yearly?
Is there a bottle of Ipecac on hand in case of poisoning?
Bedroom Yes No Action Taken
Can you get up and down safely from the bed?
Is the light switch accessible from the bed?
Is the telephone in easy reach?
Are clothes in the closet or dresser in easy reach?
Is there a clear path to the bathroom?
If a walking aid is used, is it next to the bed?
Is there an exit route planned and practiced in case of fire?
Is there a flashlight with fresh batteries within easy reach of the bed?
Are electric blankets used safely by never tucking the coils under the mattress?
Are electric blankets used safely by never keeping anything on top of them?
Are electric blankets used safely by never folding the blanket when it is plugged in?
Garage/Basement/Storage Areas Yes No Action Taken
Does the garage have an automatic opener?
Are work areas, especially where power tools are used, well lit?
Can lights be turned on without first having to walk through the dark area?
Are the closets well lit?
Can the closest rods and hooks in the closets be easily reached?
If fuses are used, are they the correct size for the circuit?
Are power tools equipped with a 3-prong plug or marked to show that they are double insulated?
Are power tool guards in place?
Are containers of volatile liquids tightly capped?
Are gasoline, paints, solvents, or other products that give off vapors or fumes stored away from ignition sources?
Outside Yes No Action Taken
Are all entrances well lit?
Are the driveway, steps, footpath and porches well lit?
Do steps and walk surfaces provide good traction (textured surfaces) and are in good condition, free of clutter, snow and leaves?
Do steps have a sturdy, easy-to-grip handrail?
Are steps edges clearly marked?
Is a parking space always available?
Is the parking space close to the home entrance?
Is the door threshold too high or low to get in or out easily?
Can visitors be viewed prior to entry?
Can the doorbell be heard in every part of the house?
Is the door lock sturdy and easy to operate?
Can the mail be retrieved safely?
Is the number of the house easily clearly visible from the street and well lit at night?
Personal Safety Yes No Action Taken
Are street shoes worn instead of slippers around the home?
Do shoes have low, flat heels?
Do slippers have non-slip soles?
Does clothing fit securely with no dangling cords or hems?
Do you get up slowly from sitting or lying down to avoid becoming dizzy?
Do you carry smaller loads, especially when using stairs, and make extra trips if necessary?
Do you know how to reduce the impact of a fall by relaxing and letting your muscles go limp and rolling as you fall?
Have you learned the stop, drop and roll technique if an article of clothing lights on fire?

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