Liabilities in your Home

Accidental injury or death can easily happen in any home where the proper precautions haven’t been taken care of. There are many common injuries that have been deemed acceptable, such as burns or cuts in the kitchen, but more often than not, people are oblivious to some of the more life-threatening dangers that can become a liability to you in your home.

Often, homeowner’s are opting to remove carpet from their home, replacing it with tile or hard wood. These surfaces are hard and slippery and can be quite dangerous. Not only children but the elderly or physically challenged may find it difficult to navigate through your home safely, causing an unwanted accident. Dark or narrow staircases can also be cause for concern, especially for young children why may be playing near them. The easiest way to fix these situations is to put gates at the top and bottom of all stair cases where children are involved. Also, if you have elderly people living in the home or visiting regularly, make sure there are sturdy railings on each staircase and that the stairs are brightly lit and clear of clutter to avoid accidents. Keep your floors clear of clutter and loose items to avoid tripping. Accidents do happen, but these are things we can do to try to avoid them.

The pool is a favorite summer item, offering instant refreshment on an otherwise hot day, but it can also be your biggest liability as a homeowner. Most children who die in a pool accident died at someone else’s home, not their own. Death by drowning is tragic, and even nonfatal drowning accidents can have dire consequences such as brain injury or paralysis. Make sure that your yard is completely fenced in so that children and animals can’t accidentally fall into your pool. Also, make sure that if you do host a party, or get together at your home where people are drinking, that the pool is made off limits to the guests. When people have consumed alcohol, they are less objective and more carefree. This can be a deadly combination in ten feet of water.

They are part of your family, but they can be a huge liability. A pet can can be well behaved with you and your immediate family, but you never know how a pet will react to someone new, so it is important to let any visitors know that there is an animal in the house and you aren’t sure how they will react to a guest. That way your visitor is less likely to approach your pet, avoiding a possibly bad situation. When walking your dog, make sure to use a leash and muzzle; you will be liable if your dog bites someone walking down the street.

This is especially true for people who like to have huge blowout parties. Alcohol, as we discussed before, can severely diminish your judgment. This would be very bad if a guest at your party should be injured or, worse, killed on your property. As the homeowner, you are going to be the person responsible. If you are having people over, know your guest list, always stay in control of what is happening in your home, and be responsible.

There comes a time when you have to replace something on your home such as a plank on your deck or a step on the porch. It is very important to mark these areas clearly so that anyone visiting your home can immediately see that it would be dangerous to step there. One of the best ways to mark these areas is with yellow caution tape. Everyone knows what it means and if someone ignores the warning that you have presented, that isn’t your fault.

Every home is different so the best thing you can do is walk around your home and really look. If it looks dangerous, fix it. If you aren’t sure ask someone else. There is never too much you can do to make your home safe for yourself and your guests.