Your home may be your castle, but it can also be a reason for lawsuits. If a visitor – or even, in some cases, a trespasser – is injured on your property, you may end up facing a costly legal battle. In addition to the hassle and stress of the suit, you could find your insurance costs increasing. Luckily, there are several fixes that can help keep you – and your home – safer:
1) Invest in good lighting. Good lighting deters vandals, trespassers, and burglars. It also ensures that when you (or guests) are approaching your door at night, the property is lit well enough to prevent any trip and fall injuries. Outdoor lighting that is motion-sensitive is especially a good choice if you are worried about trespassers. Timers are also a great deterrent if you travel often. The DIY Network has tips on how to install lighting yourself.
2) Keep your property clear of snow and ice. Each winter, many emergency room visits are caused by slips and falls on the ice. In addition, each year thousands of homeowners are seriously injured when trying to clear snow and ice from their properties themselves and spend a lot on grounds care companies. Increasingly, homeowners are investing in outdoor ground heating for this reason. Heated walkways and driveways clear every trace of snow and ice automatically, saving you back-breaking work and ensuring that your walkways and driveways stay clear all winter long.
3) Keep plant life under control. Overhanging branches and tall grass are a risk for yourself and for visitors. Keep your garden trimmed back and ensure that walkways, especially, are clear of straggling plants that can trip you up.
4) Secure pool and water areas carefully. Ponds and pools are attractive to children and if a child wanders into your yard, he or she could be seriously or injured in an unsupervised pool. Pools and ponds should be surrounded by fences that have self-locking gates. For added protection, you may want to install a motion alarm that alerts you if you have an intruder in the area.
5) Do a safety walk-through regularly. Regularly check your property for hazards that could be a risk for yourself or others. There are good online checklists that can help you notice and fix any hazards before they become a problem.
Keeping your property safer can make your home safer for your family and for anyone who visits your home. A little forethought can help prevent tragedy and costly legal action, so consider: how can you make your home a little safer today?