Buying a new home is always an exciting event. But for anyone with young children, there can be obvious, or even hidden, safety hazards in any new home. Buying a home is a big investment, and the safety of family members is important too.
It's fairly easy to spot safety hazards in a condominium, or apartment. But a single family home may be bigger and more "complex." In this article, we're going to talk about how to inspect a new home for potential safety hazards.
Let's face it; safety is pretty much a 24 hour, 7 days a week job; especially if there are children in unfamiliar surroundings. The information in this article is not intended to be a comprehensive checklist of all the safety precautions to take when children are in the home. There are many great websites, including those published by government agencies, which provide those kinds of checklists.
For example, we're not going to discuss things such as cribbing, storing knives, small objects, furniture, and hazardous chemicals. Any responsible adult with children will know what to look out for, and what to do, when it comes to those types of hazards.
We're going to talk about some of the features of a new home that might present a safety problem for small children. These would be things to look out for in new surroundings. In this way, it's possible to conduct a visual "inspection" of the home and property to determine if corrective action is required.
This article is going to cover three areas: the exterior and interior of a home, as well as the home's infrastructure. This includes electric, gas, water, and heating systems. Keep in mind this list is meant merely as a guide. When walking around and conducting an inspection, if something looks unsafe, then take immediate corrective action.
The outside of any new home is the logical place to start the inspection. Throughout this entire exercise, the inspector should be thinking like a child. Children are smaller than adults, and those small holes that might seem harmless to an adult could be a safety hazard for a child. When inspecting the outside of the home, be sure to look for the following:
The next stop will be the inside of the home. This means concentrating on the home's living environment. These are the areas where the family is going to spend most of their time.
This final area has to do with the home's infrastructure: electrical outlets, natural gas or oil, heating systems, and water pipes. These are the supporting systems in the home that are often overlooked, or taken for granted, by homeowners but provide a vital role in the home's comfort.
During these inspections, look at things with the curiosity of a young one. This can help to identify what kind of trouble they could get into.
Finally, there is no checklist that covers all possible safety hazards. There is no substitution for common sense. In fact, just taking the time to look around a home with a focus on safety should help to eliminate most, if not all, of the child safety hazards.
About the Author - Buying Safe Homes for Children