• Helps you check your home for hazards that could lead to an injury.
  • Gives you tips on making your home safer
  • Provides a summary of your home safety recommendations

 

 

Kitchen

Can you reach things that you use often without climbing, bending or losing your balance?

Great! By arranging your kitchen so that pots, pans, and food are easy–to–reach, you are helping to prevent a fall. Keep light-weight items higher up and heavier items in lower cupboards. Ask for help or use a step stool with a safety rail when reaching high places.

Help prevent a fall by:

  • keeping your pots, pans, and food in easy–to–reach cupboards
  • storing light-weight items higher up and heavier items in lower cupboards
  • asking for help or using a step stool when reaching high places.

Are your oven mitts, utensils, packaging, towels and curtains kept away from your stove?

By keeping items away from your stove, you are helping prevent fires and burns.

Prevent fires and burns by keeping things that can catch fire (oven mitts, pot holders, wooden utensils, packaging, towels or curtains) away from your stove.

Do you stay in the kitchen when frying, grilling, boiling or broiling food?

Great! Did you know that most house fires start in the kitchen? By staying in the kitchen when cooking, you can prevent a fire or respond early if something does catch fire.  Avoid cooking if you feel sleepy, have been drinking alcohol, or have taken medicine or drugs that make you drowsy.

Did you know that most house fires start in the kitchen? Stay in the kitchen when you are frying, grilling, boiling, or broiling food. Turn the stove off if you need to leave the kitchen.  Avoid cooking if you feel sleepy, have been drinking  alcohol, or have taken medicine or drugs that make you drowsy.

Do you keep a fire extinguisher in the kitchen?

Good! By keeping a fire extinguisher in or near the kitchen and knowing how to use it, you can put a fire out quickly. Mount fire extinguishers on the wall in or near the kitchen, out of reach of children and away from the stove or other heat sources. Check your fire extinguisher according to the manufacturer’s instructions to make sure it will work when you need it.

Most home fires start in the kitchen. Keep a fire extinguisher in the kitchen and learn how to use it so you can put out a fire quickly. Fire extinguishers should be wall-mounted in or near the kitchen, out of reach of children and away from the stove or other heat sources. Check your fire extinguisher according to the manufacturer’s instructions so it will work when you need it.

Bathroom

Is temperature of your hot tap water 49°C (120°F)?

Great! By making sure that the water coming out of your tap is 49°C (120°F) you can prevent scalds.  Tap water temperature can be changed by:

  • Adjusting your hot water tank
  • Installing anti-scald devices on sink and bathtub spouts and shower heads.
  • Having a plumber install a thermostatic mixing valve in your water line.

If you rent, your property manager or landlord is likely responsible for lowering the water temperature.

Set your hot tap water temperature to 49°C (120°F) to prevent scalds. You can lower your tap water temperature by:

  • Adjusting your hot water tank to 49 C°
  • Installing anti-scald devices on sink and bathtub spouts and shower heads.
  • Having a plumber installing a thermostatic mixing valve in your water line.
  • If you rent, speak to your property manager or landlord about lowering the water temperature to 49°C (120°F).

Do you use non-slip mats or adhesive strips or decals in your tub? Do you have a secure grab bar in your bathroom?

That’s good! You are reducing your chance of a slipping by having slip-resistant surfaces your bathtubs and showers.  Your grab bar provides secure support when getting in and out of the tub or shower.

Each year many people are injured in the bathroom when they slip and fall. Keep yourself safe by using a tub mat or adhesive strips or decals on the tub or shower floor. Have at least one secure grab bar for support. Towel racks are not strong enough to be used for support.

Can you get on and off the toilet easily?

Great! If you have difficulty in the future, you can use a raised toilet seat or higher toilet and grab bars to assist you.

There are several products that can make the toilet easier and safer for you to use:

  • Higher toilets
  • Raised toilet seats
  • Installed grab bars for good support

Look for raised toilet seats and grab bars in home building supply stores. Do not use a towel rack to support you.

 

Do you use a non-slip bath mat near the sink and tub?

That’s great! A rubber-backed bath mat near the sink and the tub will help prevent slips and falls in the bathroom.

 

Falls in the bathroom are common. Use a rubber backed bath mat near the sink and the tub to keep you safer.

Is your soap, shampoo and towel within easy reach of your shower or bath?

Great! Having your soap and shampoo within easy reach helps you avoid a fall while bathing.

Use a shower organizer so that your soap and shampoo are easy-to-reach. Bending or reaching while in the shower could cause a fall.

Bedroom

Do you have light that you can turn on from your bedside?

Great! ! If you get up at night be sure to turn your light so you can see where you are going.

Keep a lamp, light switch or flashlight near the bed so you can see where you are going at night if you need to get up. Night lights in hallways also help you see at night.

Can you easily get in and out of your bed?

That’s great! If you start have trouble getting in and out of bed, talk to an occupational therapist or home medical supply store.  Your bed may need to be raised or lowered or you may need some equipment to help you.

Speak with an occupational therapist or home medical supply store about safe ways of getting in and out of bed. Your bed may need to be raised or lowered or you may need some equipment to help you.  If you use a walker or cane, keep it near your bed for support.

 

Is there a clear, well-lit path from the bedroom to the bathroom?

Perfect! ! By keeping an uncluttered, well-lit path between your bedroom and the bathroom you are reducing your risk of falling. Use a nightlight or keep a flashlight by your bed to light the way to the bathroom

At night, people can trip over clutter or furniture on their way to the bathroom. Keep floors and hallways clear.  Use a nightlight or flashlight to light the way to the bathroom.

 

Are your walking aid and eyeglasses within reach of your bed?

Great! By keeping a walking aid and eyeglasses within easy reach of your bed you can get out of bed more safely.

Keep your walking aid and eyeglasses close to your bed so you can use them to get up safely.

Do you have a smoke alarm in your bedroom?

Great! If there is a fire, your smoke alarms will alert you early and give you time to escape. Be sure to test your smoke alarms monthly and replace batteries at least once a year, more often if needed

Install smoke alarms inside each bedroom and outside each sleeping area so if there is a fire, you will be alerted early and have time to escape. Be sure to test your smoke alarms monthly and replace batteries at least once a year, more often if needed.

Have a telephone near your bed in case you are trapped by smoke or fire.

Do you smoke in bed?

Every year in Canada, people die when someone falls asleep while smoking. Do not smoke in bed or when lying down, especially if you are tired, have taken medication or have been drinking alcohol.  It is safest to smoke outside. Put butts out in an ashtray and soak them in water before throwing them out. Never smoke indoors if oxygen is used in the home.

Great! By choosing not to smoke in bed you are ruling out a common cause of house fires. If you do smoke, the safest place to do it is outdoors. Put butts out in an ashtray and soak them in water before throwing them out. Never smoke indoors if oxygen is used in the home.

Do you use an electric blanket?

Electric blankets can cause burns, fires and electrical shock. Never sleep with your electric blanket turned on. Use the blanket to warm your bed and then shut it off for the night. Check your electric blanket for damage before using it each winter and when you change the sheets. Avoid having any liquids such as drinks or hot water bottles around the electric blanket as this could cause a shock.

That’s good. Electric blankets put the user at risk of fires, burns and electrical shock. By not using one you have removed these risks.

Do you have a telephone next to your bed?

That is great! Keeping a telephone and a list of emergency contact numbers by your bed will help you call for help if you need it.

Keep a telephone and list of emergency contacts numbers by your bed so you can call for help if you need to. If you do not have a phone jack in your bedroom, use a cordless or mobile phone.

Steps and Stairways

Are your stairways well lit?

That’s great. Light switches that are located at both the top and bottom of the stairs will help you see each step and prevent a fall.

Light switches that are located at both the top and bottom of the stairs will help you see each step and prevent a fall. If this isn’t an option, use nightlights, battery operated lights, or a flashlight help you see at night.

Do you have a sturdy handrail on both sides of the stairs?

Very good! Stairs are safest when they have solidly mounted hand­rails on both sides.

Install hand rails on both sides of the stairway. Have a professional install them to ensure they are the correct height and properly secured.

Are your stairs in good condition?

Great! Stay safe by removing, fixing or replacing any floor covering that becomes torn, damaged or loose.

Falling on stairs can cause very serious injury and death.  Stay safe by removing, fixing or replacing any floor covering that is torn, damaged or loose.   If your stairs squeak, bend or feel loose when you walk on them, ask a carpenter to inspect them and make any repairs.

Are your stairways free of clutter?

Great! Keeping your stairs free of clutter helps prevent tripping.  When carrying items on stairways, only carry what you can safely manage and make sure that your vision isn’t blocked.

Keep stairways and steps free of clutter to help prevent tripping.  When carrying items on stairways, only carry what you can safely manage and make sure that your vision isn’t blocked.

Are the edges of the steps clearly marked?

That’s good! Being able to see the edges of your stairs will help you have good footing. Remove your reading glasses and take your time when using the stairs.

Mark the edge of each step with paint or non-slip adhesive treads that contrast with the colour of the steps.Remove your reading glasses and take your time when using the stairs.

Floors

Have you removed all throw rugs and loose mats?

Great! Throw rugs are a common cause of trips and falls. Removing them is the safest choice.

Rugs and mats are common causes of trips and falls. Removing them is the safest choice.

If you really want to keep your rugs:

  • Choose rugs with a slip-resistant backing.
  • Make existing rugs safer using double-sided carpet tape to secure to the floor.
  • Use non-slip rug pad between your rug and the floor.

Carpet tape and rug pads are available at home building supply stores.

Do your carpets lie flat without wrinkles or curled edges?

That’s great! It sounds like your carpets are in good condition.

Your carpets may be putting you at risk for a fall. A carpet installer can stretch out wrinkled carpets and secure the edges.

Are floors free of electrical cords, furniture, and clutter that could cause you to trip?

Excellent! You can move around your home safely because your floors are clear of  clutter and obstacles that could cause you to trip. Having clear pathways to entrances will allow you to get out of the home quickly in an emergency.

 

Remove clutter and obstacles from your floors and, if you need to, rearrange your furniture so you can move safely around your home.  Having clear pathways to entrances will allow you to get out of the home quickly in an emergency.

Do you clean up floor spills immediately?

Good! Wiping up spills right away reduces your chances of slipping.

Most floor surfaces are very slippery when wet. Wipe up all spills as soon as they happen to reduce your chances of slipping.

Lighting in All Rooms

Is the lighting good where you keep your medications?

Very good! Good lighting where you keep your medications is important so that you don’t accidentally take the wrong medication or the wrong amount.

Keep all medications in a well-lit area to help avoid taking the wrong medication or wrong amount.

Are there light switches at both ends of your hallway?

Great! Good lighting in the hallway can reduce your chance of falling.

Make sure hallways have lighting that is bright enough for you to see clearly. Nightlights are an inexpensive way to provide light to dark hallways.

Are your bathroom lights bright enough for you to see clearly?

Very good! A brightly lit bathroom can help you avoid falling.  Replace burned out light bulbs as soon as you can and ask for help if the bulb is high up or difficult to reach.

Poor lighting can lead to falls.  Replace burned out light bulbs as soon as you can and ask for help if the bulb is high up or difficult to reach.

Do you keep a flashlight handy?

Great! By keeping a flashlight with fresh batteries nearby you are prepared in case the lights go out.

Keep a flashlight with fresh batteries nearby in case the lights go out. Sudden darkness puts you at risk of tripping

General

Do you burn candles in your home?

Every year unattended candles cause about 100 house fires in Canada.

When using candles:

  • Don’t use candles on or around your bed, curtains, furniture or other things that can catch fire.
  • Never leave a burning candle unattended -Blow them out when you leave the room or go to bed.
  • Keep burning candles out of reach of children and pets.

Health Canada has good information on Candle Safety.

That’s good.  Unattended candles cause about 100 house fires each year in Canada. Common mistakes that can lead to a fire are:

  • Leaving candles unattended or falling asleep when burning candles.
  • Burning candles close to things that can catch fire such as mattresses, bedding, curtains, and furniture.
  • Leaving burning candles within reach of children or pets.

Do you have smoke alarms on every floor of your home and do you test them monthly?

That’s great!  Smoke alarms should be installed on every level of your home and outside of each sleeping area.  Be sure to test your smoke alarms monthly.

  • If your alarm uses regular batteries, replace the battery at least once a year and when the low-battery indicator chirps.
  • If your alarm uses long life-batteries that last up to 10 year, you need to replace the smoke alarm when the battery wears out.
  • If you rent, tell your landlord or caretaker immediately if you smoke alarm isn’t working.

Also see, Smoke Alarms: The Basics

Working smoke alarms are required by law and can save your life! Smoke alarms warn you about smoke and fire in your home to give you and your family time to escape.  Smoke alarms should be installed on every level of your home and outside of each sleeping area.  Be sure to test your smoke alarms monthly.

  • If your alarm uses regular batteries, replace the battery at least once a year and when the low-battery indicator chirps.
  • If your alarm uses long life-batteries that last up to 10 year, you need to replace the smoke alarm when the battery wears out.
  • If you rent, tell your landlord or caretaker immediately if your smoke alarm isn’t working. If your landlord doesn’t repair or replace your smoke alarm within 24-hours, call the Winnipeg Fire Prevention Branch at 204-986-8200.

Also see, Smoke Alarms: The Basics

Do you have a fire escape plan? Have you and your family practiced it within the last 6 months?

That’s great! Did you know you may have only two minutes to escape from a house fire? An escape plan improves your chances of surviving a fire by reducing how much time it takes for you and your family to get out of your home.

 

Did you know you may have only two minutes to escape from a house fire? An escape plan improves your chances of surviving a fire by reducing how much time it takes for you and your family to get out of your home.

Make a plan and practice it with everyone who lives in your home. If possible, plan two ways out of every room and two ways out of your home. To learn more about home fire escape plans, go to http://www.firecomm.gov.mb.ca/docs/safe_family_8.pdf

If you rent, have mobility problems or live in a senior’s residence, ask your landlord or property manager for fire escape procedures.

Do you use carbon monoxide (CO) detectors in your home?

Well done! Carbon monoxide is a colourless, odourless gas which can be deadly. It is often called the “silent killer”. Only a carbon monoxide alarm can detect if there is CO in the air. By installing CO alarms outside each sleeping area and on every level of the home, you have helped prevent carbon monoxide poisoning.

  • Install and maintain your CO alarms according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
  • Clean and test your alarms monthly. Replace them when they reach the expiry date.
  • The best way to prevent carbon monoxide in your home is by having your heating system cleaned and inspected each year.
  • Manitoba Hydro has good information on preventing CO poisoning, carbon monoxide detectors and maintaining your heating system.

If your CO detector alarm sounds, leave the house immediately and call 911.

Carbon monoxide is a colourless, odourless gas which can be deadly. It is often called the “silent killer”. Only a carbon monoxide alarm can detect if there is CO in the air. Install CO alarms outside each sleeping area and on every level of the home to help prevent carbon monoxide poisoning.

  • Install and maintain your CO alarms according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
  • Clean and test your alarms monthly.  Replace them when reach their expiry date.
  • The best way to prevent carbon monoxide in your home is by having your heating system cleaned and inspected each year.
  • Manitoba Hydro has good information on preventing CO poisoning, carbon monoxide detectors and maintaining your heating system.

If your CO detector alarm sounds, leave the house immediately and call 911

Do you store chemical and flammable materials properly?

Great!  Many solvents and cleaners are poisonous and highly flammable.  By keeping all chemicals such as bleach, cleaners and paint thinners in their original containers, out of reach of children and pets, and away from heat and flames, you are helping prevent possible fires, burns, poisoning and dangerous chemical reactions.

Many solvents and cleaners are poisonous and highly flammable.  Keep all chemicals such as bleach, cleaners and paint thinners in original containers, out of reach of children and pets, and away from heat and flames to help prevent fires, burns, poisoning and dangerous chemical reactions.

Do you have a list of emergency telephone numbers located near your phone?

Great! Be sure your list includes:

  • Police, Fire Department, and ambulance (911)
  • Manitoba Poison Control Center (1-855-776-4766 or 1-855-7POISON)
  • your doctor(s)
  • a neighbor or family member.

If you have trouble seeing the numbers on your phone, use a big button phone available at many stores.

Great! Keep telephone emergency numbers nearby for

  • Police, Fire Department, and ambulance (911)
  • Manitoba Poison Control Center (1-855-776-4766 or 1-855-7POISON)
  • your doctor(s)
  • a neighbor or family member.

If you have trouble seeing the numbers on your phone, use a big button phone available at many stores.

Outside Your Home

Are the edges of your steps easy to see?

That’s great! Having steps that are well lit and stair edges that are clearly marked makes your home safer for you and visitors.

Protect yourself and visitors from a fall by making sure your steps are well-lit. Paint step edges a contrasting colour so they can easily be seen.

Are your steps slip resistant?

Perfect! By using a slip resistant and rough finish on steps you have made them safer for yourself and visitors.

Use a slip-resistant, rough finish on stair treads. Home building supply stores sell adhesive non-slip treads that can be easily applies to your steps and non-skid additive that can be mixed with paint.

Do steps have a sturdy handrail?

Very good!  Handrails along both sides of the steps will help prevent falls.

Install a sturdy handrail along both sides of the steps to help prevent falls.

Are the steps, sidewalks, driveway and decks around your home in good repair?

Great! Keeping steps, sidewalks, driveways and decks around your home in good condition, well lit and free of leaves, ice and snow will help prevent a slip, trip or fall to you, your family and visitors.

Help prevent slips, trips and falls to you, your family and visitors by keeping steps, sidewalks, driveways and decks around your home in good condition, well lit, and free of leaves, ice and snow. Use ice melt in winter.

Is your yard free of tripping hazards such as rakes and hoses?

Perfect! You are helping to create a yard that is safe to walk around.

Store your garden tools in a shed or garage, use a hose reel and keep your garden free of other hazards.

Is your community free from hazards?

Great! If you do notice hazards in your community such as uneven sidewalks, uncovered drains or broken curbs, call your local municipality (in Winnipeg call 311).  If the hazard is at a business, advise the staff so they can correct the problem.

Report hazards in your community to help prevent you and others from falling. Call your local municipality (in Winnipeg call 311) to report hazards such as uneven sidewalks, uncovered drains or broken curbs on public property. If the hazard is at a business, advise the staff so they can correct the problem.

You have completed the Home Safety Checklist!

This report recommends ways for you to make your home safer, based on how you answered the questions.  If you have any questions about the information you have been given, print a copy of your summary and discuss it with your Seniors Resource Council.

For information on health and social services in Manitoba visit:

Or call Health Links – Info Santé at 204-788-8200.

 

Things you can improve on:

    Things you are doing well: