RACV survey highlights the need for a home safety check

RACV External Communications

Posted March 05, 2024

Falling behind in home maintenance can put your safety at risk, so RACV is encouraging Victorians to complete a home safety check.

RACV has found that not all Victorians are doing as much as they would like to when it comes to home safety. Only 40 per cent of Victorians rated their home as ‘very safe’ in RACV’s recent My Home survey.

RACV Head of Trades, Kieran Davies, explained that while home safety is a priority for most people, many faced barriers to making their homes safe.

“57 per cent of participants agreed that they could do more to keep their homes safe and around eight in ten people have faced barriers to getting home safety maintenance done,” Mr Davies said.

“The main barriers to completing home safety maintenance jobs are cost, time, and finding help to get the work done.

“Concerningly a third of renters, who requested an urgent repair, indicated that they are worried that making a maintenance request will result in their rent being increased.

“The survey also showed that 70 per cent of participants do maintenance themselves, 40 per cent hire a tradesperson and 13 per cent get a family or friend from outside of the household to help.”

Here are some tips from RACV to complete a home safety health check:

  • Review your insurance policies to ensure you have adequate home and contents cover.
  • To help reduce the risk of house fires, ensure you have a fire blanket in your kitchen and within easy reach, that any fire extinguishers are in good working order, and that your smoke alarms are working properly.
  • Check for damaged appliance cords, power points or light switches that could lead to electrical fires.
  • Check that batteries, e-bikes, and e-scooters are stored in a cool, dry place and unplug them when they are charged to prevent overheating.
  • If you have young children, ensure that curtain and blind cords are secured to reduce choking risks.
  • Check for mould or moisture damage that can lead to costly repairs.
  • To help reduce the risk of trips and falls, ensure walkways are clear and well lit, and that mats and rugs are secured.
  • If you are renting, also pay close attention to the condition report when starting a rental agreement, and be aware of your rights and responsibilities when it comes to home safety.

RACV Trades also recommends engaging a qualified tradesperson to:

  • Check and clean gutters to protect the structural integrity of your home and prevent repairs down the track.
  • Check for damage to any gas and electric systems that could result in a house fire.
  • Check heating and cooling systems and clean filters to improve air quality.
  • Service and clean solar panels to improve energy efficiency.

RACV is encouraging Victorians to consider if doing home maintenance themselves is the best option, with falls from ladders being the most common home maintenance injury.

“If in doubt, hiring a professional tradesperson to do home maintenance work is always the best option.

RACV Trades can help you find local tradies who are vetted by experienced specialists, fully accredited, licensed and insured. We will also guarantee the quality of their work with a 12-month warranty.

“In an emergency, you can get reliable help from RACV Emergency Home Assist’s plumbers, electricians, and locksmiths who are available 24/7 and offer an end-to-end service,” Mr Davies said.

RACV is also reminding Victorians to check their home insurance sums insured using either the home contents calculator, or home building calculator on their website.

Full survey results can be found in the RACV My Home survey storybook, available to download at racv.com.au/haveyoursay

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