Financial Preparedness

Home Safety Quiz

December 20, 2009

It's true. There's no place like home. No place more comfortable or more relaxing, and, no place where you are more at risk.

Which is why Liberty Mutual brings you this home safety quiz filled with safety tips and facts for every homeowner.

The questions are all multiple choice, but some may have more than one correct answer.

Your score will tell you where you stand on home safety and how you could live safer.

Ready? Begin!

1) Every 15 seconds, a home is burglarized in the United States. How do you deter break-ins? (Select all that apply)

a. My outside doors are 1 3/4" solid hardwood or metal. I use dead-bolt locks with 1-inch throws, and my sliding glass door has a strong wooden or metal dowel in the track so it can't be forced open. 

b. My home has exterior lights with infrared motion detectors, and timers to turn internal lights and radios on and off when we're away. I also use a police-monitored security system, with sensors on all doors and windows. 

c. I alert a trusted neighbor or friend to watch my property for suspicious activity, pick up mail, newspapers and mow the lawn when I'm gone.

As the saying goes, "Accidents will happen." Unfortunately, far too many preventable accidents occur indoors. Do you regularly protect your family from potential accidents inside your home?

2) The combination of water, electricity, and slippery surfaces makes bathrooms potential danger zones. What precautions do you take? (Select all that apply)

a. To prevent scalding, I check the bath water with my hand or set my water heater on "low."

b. I use non-skid rugs on the bathroom floor and have a non-skid bathtub surface

c. I use paper or plastic cups in the bathroom, and I never use electrical appliances near the sink.

3) Falling is the most common cause of accidental home death. How do you reduce the chance of falls? (Select all that apply)

a. I have installed handrails on both sides of stairways and keep throw rugs away from stairways.

b. If I can't locate a proper step stool, I substitute my sturdiest chair.

c. As a handy way to remember to take items either downstairs or upstairs, I place the item(s) on the stairs, ready for the next trip.

You'd like to think of your yard as a peaceful oasis. However, working and playing in your yard can be dangerous. Do you and your family recognize these common outdoor home hazards?

4) A backyard barbecue with friends is fun and relaxing, but kitchen safety rules apply outdoors, too. What do you do when cooking outdoors? (Select all that apply)

a. I start the charcoal with whatever is available -- lighter fluid or even a little gasoline.

b. When using a propane gas grill, I make sure the gas is completely shut off when finished, and I keep the propane tank away from any other heat source.

c. Once lit, I know not to add fuel to the fire, to avoid creating flames that could explode or ignite clothing. I know to never burn charcoal in an enclosed area to prevent carbon monoxide poisoning.

5) Which best describes your use of power lawn mowers? (Select all that apply)

a. I clear all rocks, twigs and debris before mowing a dry lawn in daylight, and I wear safety goggles and sturdy work shoes.

b. I mow the lawn whenever I have time, even if the grass is still wet.

c. I disconnect the spark plug wire before performing maintenance and never fill the gas tank when it's hot.

Serious do-it-yourselfers come into contact with electricity and gas lines and operate power tools. Are you doing everything you can to ensure do-it-yourself repairs are safe?

6) What precautions do you take when working with power tools? (Select all that apply)

a. When I'm through using power tools, I unplug the tools from extension cords and outlets, remove all drill bits and saw blades, and lock them up, out of reach of children.

b. If a tool is running hot, I will unplug it and let it cool off before using it again.

c. I know to read the manufacturer's safety instructions for each tool -- checking especially for proper grounding information -- and I wait until power is off and the tool is unplugged before cleaning it.

7) Working around gas lines or electricity is extremely dangerous. What precautions do you take to ensure safe working conditions? (Select all that apply)

a. I know to turn off the main electric switch in my home when doing repairs, and I know the proper fuse ratings for the electrical circuits in the house. I also never use metal ladders near power lines.

b. I know how to properly ignite the pilot light on my furnace and water heater.

c. When doing a project that involves digging, I guess where gas lines are buried and avoid digging there.

The air your family breathes inside your home can pose serious health risks. Carbon monoxide, radon, and even cleaning chemicals have been attributed to poisonings and even fatalities. How safe is your household from these dangers?

8) Carbon monoxide (CO) is an odorless, tasteless, colorless gas often emitted at dangerous levels from faulty furnaces or space heaters. Symptoms of CO poisoning resemble the flu. What have you done to reduce your risk of CO poisoning? (Select all that apply)

a. I have my furnace burner, controls, and vent systems professionally checked on a regular basis.

b. I frequently check the furnace for visible blue flames. If I see Yellow flames (indicating improper gas and air combustion mix), I call for expert help.

c. On each level of my home, I've installed a carbon monoxide detector that will sound an alarm when CO reaches a dangerous level (400 parts per million).

9) Radon, a naturally occurring, invisible, odorless gas that has been linked to cancer, typically enters homes through cracks in the foundation. How do you reduce your risk of exposure? (Select all that apply)

a. I don't use the basement, other than for storage, so I'm not at risk.

b. I've sealed large cracks in my basement and have checked its radon level with a test kit.

c. I've used a contractor certified by the EPA's Radon Contractor Proficiency program to help alleviate a possible radon problem in my home.

10) When using household chemicals do you: (Select one)

a. Use only products that are stored in their original containers with labels clearly visible and properly follow the manufacturer's directions?

b. Keep windows and vents closed so dust doesn't get everywhere?

c. Mix cleaners together for something stronger?

No one can predict when or where a natural disaster may strike, but taking precautionary steps now will alleviate confusion and panic. How disaster-ready are you?

11) Gas and electricity connections can be affected by tornadoes, hurricanes, and other storms. How are you prepared for loss of power? (Select all that apply)

a. I have emergency flashlights and a battery-operated radio, and have white tape on the tips of all circuit breaker switches and utility shut-off valves -- so I can easily locate them.

b. I stay away from downed power lines and instruct children to stay away too, to prevent shock or serious injury.

c. I know to pull the main fuse to avoid electrical fires caused by storm damage. If I smell gas during an earthquake, I know it is best to wait until the earthquake is over to shut off the gas.

12) If you live in an area susceptible to earthquakes, have you: (Select all that apply)

a. Prepared an earthquake kit that includes 3 days worth of food and bottled water, a first aid kit, a fire extinguisher, battery-operated flashlight, radio, extra clothes and sturdy shoes?

b. Used metal stripping or "L" brackets to fasten heavy furniture or appliances to wall studs?

c. Installed wire-reinforced or safety glass in your home?

To score your answers, total the point values according to the following chart:

Point Values

Question No.
 A
 B
 C
1
 5
 5
 3
2
 1
 3
 5
3
 5
-5
-5
4
-5
 3
 5
5
 5
-5
 5
6
 5
-5
 5
7
 5
 3
 5
8
 3
 3
 5
9
-5
 3
 5
10
 5
 3
-5
11
 5
 5
 5
12
 5
 5
 5

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