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Senior Home Safety Checklist

Telephone and Emergency Contact Procedures:
  1. Are emergency contact phone numbers posted in large print by each telephone?
  2. Is the home address posted in large print by each telephone?
  3. Is there a telephone in each room?
  4. Are telephones accessible from the floor in case of a fall?
Fire Safety Procedures:
  1. Are smoke alarms present in the home and in working order? (Batteries should be replaced on an annual to semi-annual basis.)
  2. Is there at least one smoke alarm on every level of the home?
  3. Are smoke alarms less than 10 years old?
  4. Are carbon monoxide alarm present in the home near bedrooms and family rooms?
  5. Are the carbon monoxide alarms tested and in working order?
  6. Are home-habitants familiar with the effects of carbon monoxide poisoning?
  7. Are home-habitants aware of the possible home-sources of carbon monoxide?
  8. Are fire extinguishers present in the home and garage?
  9. Are fire extinguisher easily accessible?
  10. Are home-habitants familiar with how to use a fire extinguisher?
  11. Have the fire extinguishers been lightly shaken annually to prevent contents from solidifying?
  12. Is there a written evacuation plan in place?
  13. Has the evacuation plan been practiced?
  14. Are telephone and emergency contact procedures in place?
  15. Is your address visible from the street and well-lit for emergency responders?
  16. Are windows unblocked and easily opened for evacuation?
Severe Weather Procedures:
  1. Do you have an established secondary residence/shelter to travel to in case of severe weather?
  2. Have you mapped a severe weather escape route to your secondary residence/shelter?
  3. Have you identified essential items such as medications and special dietary foods to bring with you to your secondary residence?
  4. Do you have valid travel documents and identification in case of evacuation?
  5. Do you have a battery-operated radio and flash light in case of power loss?
Doors, Windows, Locks, and Security:
  1. Are door handles and locks easy to operate? (We advise against round, twist-handles that require a firm grip.)
  2. Are door thresholds low and beveled?
  3. Do windows open easily from the inside?
  4. Do windows have a secure locking system?
  5. Is there a home security system in place?
Carpets, Rugs, and Tripping Hazards:
  1. Is the ground free of appliance cords and other tripping hazards?
  2. Are high-traffic areas free of rugs and carpet?
  3. Are existing carpeting and rugs worn or torn?
  4. Do carpeting and rugs lay flat on the ground, wrinkle free?
  5. Are their non-skid backing on small, loose rugs?
  6. Is there any other floor-clutter that could act as tripping-agents?
  7. Are canes, walkers, and wheelchairs in good condition and easily accessible?
  8. Is proper footwear worn to prevent slips and falls?
  9. Is furniture arranged to facilitate mobility?
  1. Is the kitchen well lit to reduce sight-related accidents?
  2. Are light switches located near kitchen entrances?
  3. Are household chemicals properly stored and kept away from foods?
  4. Are knives kept in a knife rack or drawer?
  5. Is your stove-top area free of hanging curtains, towels, and other flammable objects?
  6. Are oven controls clearly marked and easy to operate?
  7. Are oven controls located to the front or side of oven as opposed to the back requiring reaching over the burners?
  8. Is it easy to recognize if the stove is on or off?
  9. Are potholders and oven mitts (not towels) kept near the stove?
  10. Is the refrigerator operating at proper temperatures?
  11. Is the refrigerator checked regularly for expired foods?
  12. Are countertops and work areas cleared of all unnecessary objects?
  13. Is there adequate counter-top space to allow carrying and lifting to be kept to a minimum?
  14. Are wall-cabinets within reach?
  15. Is a sturdy stepladder or step-stool available? (We strongly advise against the use of a chair.)
  16. Are faucet controls single-leveler mixer? This type of faucet is easy to operate and controls both hot and cold water in one.
  17. Is there a fire extinguisher easily accessible to the kitchen area?
  1. Is the bedroom on the first floor?
  2. Is the floor smooth-surfaced?
  3. Are light switches located near bedroom entrance?
  4. Is there a lamp or flashlight within reach of the bed? Are the batteries working? (We recommend you keep spare batteries nearby.)
  5. Is there a telephone in reach of the bed?
  6. Is there a night light in use to light the path to the bathroom?
  7. Is there a sturdy, full-armed chair for dressing assistance and stabilization?
  1. Is the water heater thermostat set to an appropriate temperature to prevent scalding heat in showers and baths? (We advise a maximum temperature of 120 degrees F.)
  2. Does bathroom door open outward?
  3. Is there safe and adequate lighting?
  4. Are light switches located near entrances?
  5. Is there a night light in the bathroom?
  6. Do bathtubs and showers feature non-skid mats or strip in standing areas?
  7. Are grab bars installed in the shower, by the bathtub, and by the toilet?
  8. Are bathtub and shower doors safety-glass or plastic?
  9. Are you using a single-leveler mixed faucet?
  10. Is flooring free of throw-rugs and bath mats? (We highly advise a textured, non-slip flooring.)
  11. Are proper cleaning and sanitizing practices in place?
  12. Does the bathroom have a safe ventilation system?
Living Room:
  1. Are light switches located near the room-entrance?
  2. Are electrical cords placed along walls (not under rugs) and away from high-traffic areas?
  3. Are chairs and other seating surfaces stable and sturdy?
  4. Do chairs and sofas have full arms to aid in sitting and rising?
  5. Is a clear passage way through room identifiable?
Stairways and Halls:
  1. Are steps sturdy and in good condition?
  2. Are stairways and halls well lighted?
  3. Do steps have securely fastened hand rails on both sides?
  4. Are stairways and halls free of objects which could cause tripping?
  5. Is the carpet on steps, if any, securely fastened and free of fraying and holes?
  6. Are hallways equipped with night lights?
  7. Is the top-stair and bottom-stair clearly marked?
  8. Is it easy to see the leading edge or nosing of each stair tread while walking down stairs?
  9. Are light switches located at the top and bottom of staircases and at the beginning and end of long hallways?
  10. Are room entrances free of raised thresholds?
  11. Is stairway space enough to avoid head-bumping?
Outdoor Areas:
  1. Are steps and walkways in place for walking-ease? Are they in good condition?
  2. Are hand rails sturdy and securely fastened?
  3. Are doorways, steps, porches, and walkways well-lit?
  4. Are porches, balconies, terraces, window wells, and other height or depressions identified and protected with railings?
  5. Is there a clear pathway between the home and mailbox?
  6. Do garage doors operate smoothly?
  7. Are hedges, trees, and shrubs well-trimmed and non-intrusive?
  8. Is snow and ice removed promptly as needed?
Electrical Safety Precautions:
  1. Are extension cords and power strips being used appropriately?
  2. Is electrical overload protection provided by circuit breakers, fuses, or ground fault circuit interrupters?
  3. Are heating and cooling systems working properly?
Medication Safety Precautions:
  1. Are medications in their original packages/containers with labels still on?
  2. Are medications being stored in a safe place according to the instruction on the label?
  3. Is the medicine-cabinet being checked regularly for outdated medicines?
Essential Contacts:

The following list of essential contacts should be kept on your refrigerator at all times for quick reference. These numbers are specific to Sarasota County. Residence outside of Sarasota are strongly advised to create their own lists. List last updated July of 2013.

Police, Fire, or Medical Emergency: 911

Sarasota Emergency Management: 941-861-5000

Sarasota County American Red Cross: 941-379-9300

Sarasota County Special Needs Shelter Registry: 941-861-5000

FEMA Disaster Assistance: 800-621-3362

Florida Division of Emergency Management: 850-413-9969

Florida Department of Elder Affairs: 850-414-2000

Elder Help Line: 800-963-5337

Florida Power and Light: 800-468-8243

Would you like help with our Senior Home Safety Checklist?

Call us to schedule a free, no obligation in-home consultation and home safety assessment today! Our staff RN will consult you on your home care options, the best plan of action for your loved one, and your home’s safety condition. Care Providers at Home is proudly family owned and operated in Sarasota, Florida!  (941)  685-3838