November 1999 Edition

How To Make A Home Safe 

Would you please give us a list of the most important items to have in a home to make it safe? 
How do you make your home the safe place you want it to be? How do you protect yourself and your family? The National Safety Council offers a list of safety items that should be found in every home. The list does not cover everything, but take in extra considerations such as the age and layout of your home, extra amenities found in the home such as whirlpool tubs or fireplaces and the age, sex, and health of the occupants of the home. 
Go through the following list. If any of these items are missing in your home, you are increasing the risk of a home injury or fatality. 
SMOKE DETECTORS:Most home fire deaths happen between 10 pm and 6 am. Many victims die because of smoke and toxic gases not the fire itself. Install smoke detectors on every level and every room. Check the batteries at least once a month.  
FIRST-AID KIT: Keep a well-stocked first-aid kit in your home. Make sure everyone knows where it's kept. 
FIRE EXTINGUISHERS: Mount a multi-purpose dry chemical Class ABC fire extinguisher near exits. 
EMERGENCY EVACUATION PLAN: Make your plan now before you need it. Have at least two exits from every room and practice it! 
FLASHLIGHTS: Keep flashlights readily available and check the batteries frequently. 
TAGGED SHUTOFFS: Place tags on the shutoff valves in your home for gas, oil, water and the main shutoff for your electricity supply. 
LIGHTING: Use night lights near bathrooms, bedrooms, hallways, stairwells and the outside walkways. 
TESTED APPLIANCES: All electric and gas appliances in your home should carry the UL, CSA or AGA designations. 
EYE PROTECTION: Eye protection is a must for the do-it-yourselfer. 
SURVIVAL KIT: To prepare yourself for an unexpected act of disaster such as an earthquake, tornado or power outage keep the kit available. It should include tools, a battery operated radio, flashlights, clothing, bedding, containers of water, non-perishable food and a first-aid kit.
CARBON MONOXIDE DETECTORS: Every home should at least have one CO detector placed in an area close to sleeping rooms. CO is odorless, colorless and tasteless and often goes undetected. Be sure the CO detector displays the (UL 2034) label. 

Top Ten Safety Tips

LADDERS: Make sure the ladder is placed on solid footing. Don't stretch out and reach. Move the ladder to stay within your work zone where you can stand upright. To help maintain proper balance, never step on the top two rungs.
FIRE: Develop a fire-escape plan. Practice it with your family. Learn two escape routes out of every room, how to crawl low under smoke, and where to meet outside of the home. Now is the perfect time to conduct a fire safety audit. Clean roof tops and gutters of all debris that can create a fire hazard. Look for and remove old paint cans, paint thinner, oily rags and other combustible materials. Clean the furnace and utility rooms to remove any fire hazards. Check all smoke detectors to make sure they are working properly. Look for your fire extinguisher - does it work on all types of fires?
POWER MOWERS & MOWING: Before you start your lawn mower for the first time, check to make sure that all guards are in place. If you are uncertain, have it inspected by a mower service professional. Before mowing, precheck your lawn for broken sticks, stones, toys and anything else that could shoot out from under the mower or damage the blade. Don't allow people to play or sit anywhere near where you’re mowing.
DRESS: Wear comfortable, well-fitting clothes when working in your lawn or garden. A hat with a brim or visor will help to protect the top of your head and to shade your nose and eyes from the sun. Wear heavy-soled shoes to protect your feet, work gloves to protect your hands from scratches or blisters and safety glasses to protect your eyes.
SECURITY: Before leaving on a family vacation, make sure your home is secure. Give your home a lived-in look with electronic timers on indoor and outdoor lights. Be sure your mail and newspapers are not delivered while you're away. Have a trusted friend check the house periodically. Don't leave valuables laying around. Keep the window shades and drapes shut.
PLAYGROUND: Check the playground platform heights for climbing equipment and slides. Platforms should not exceed seven feet for school age children or six feet for pre-school aged children. Most playground injuries are due to falls. Make sure there is at least 9 - 12 inches of protective surface material such as mulch, hardwood chips, sand, etc., on the ground beneath the equipment and in the fall zone surrounding the equipment.
POOLS: Check the water depth before diving into a swimming pool and never dive into an above-ground pool. Adult supervision of children around swimming pools is crucial. To prevent spontaneous combustion of some chlorine-based products, store and use pool chemicals according to the manufacturer's recommendations.
LAWN CHEMICALS: If you are using pesticides or other chemicals, read the container label carefully and follow the directions exactly. Mix sprays outdoors, being careful not to spill chemicals on the ground or grass in areas used by family members or pets. Protect your eyes and skin from exposure. Wear a protective mask to keep from inhaling any hazardous chemicals.
RECREATION: When children are riding their bicycles, using in-line skates or skateboards, they should be wearing properly fitting helmets and other safety gear.BARBECUE: Barbecue grills should be clean, sturdy and stable. Keep them on a level surface away from children, foliage, chemicals, and the house or garage. If using propane grills, double check to make sure the nozzle is turned off. Don't grill from inside your garage. In case of a sudden flare up, keep a bottle of water and a fire extinguisher close by.  
The above list was developed by Lowe's Home Safety Council. 


We would like to welcome Donna Ownby who will be replacing Tammy. Donna has over 10 years experience in home inspections. We wish Tammy the very best in Charleston. 

If you have a question, change of address, comment, home tip or would like to send Home Tips to your clients, send your letter to Home Tips, Christian Building Inspectors, Inc., 3697 Habersham Lane, Duluth, Georgia 30096. You can E-Mail your questions to us at We reserve the right to edit questions for length.

Quote Of The Month

“An ounce of example is worth more thana pound of advice”


A Tip Of The Hat To:

Teresa Ho

Re/Max Greater Atlanta

3510 Shallowford Road

Atlanta, Georgia 30341