News

Child safety in the rental home

Spring 2017

To a young child or toddler the home is like one big playground with lots of stuff to get up to mischief with.

Chances are the rental premises is not equipped to prevent little hands from venturing where they shouldn’t be.

While most parents are aware of the obvious danger zones like cooktops and low cupboards containing cleaning products it’s the seemingly innocuous which can harbour hidden danger.

Low hanging blind and curtain cords can be a strangulation risk, and unstable furniture can crush young children.

Blind and Curtain Cords

Make sure children can’t reach any blind or curtain cords especially if they stand on furniture. Don’t let cords dangle into or near children’s equipment, like cots, high chairs and playpens.

Make sure the bottom of any blind or curtain cord is at least 160 cm above the floor. Wrap blind cords securely around a hook attached high on the wall.

Install a cord tensioning device, such as cord holders and wind-ups, to hold the cord tight against the wall. Fit the blind or curtain cord with breakaway tassels. Safety products can be bought at hardware or curtain shops.

Unstable Furniture

Choose furniture with a broad solid base and check chests of drawers that children may pull out and try and use as stairs.

Secure unstable items like TV sets.

Fixtures to make the home safe

Fixtures are things that are attached to, or installed in the property. The tenant may only attach a fixture or make a structural change to the property if the manager/owner agrees. Approval should be in writing and should describe the changes and whether the items can be removed.

Any added fixtures or structures must meet all relevant local and state laws.

In order to child proof the home from the hazards described some fixtures will be required.

In the case of blind and curtain cords a hook/s may need to be attached to a wall. To secure furniture/TV sets, furniture straps, angle braces or anchors screwed into wall studs can be used.

If the property manager/owner approves of the fixtures remember you may be required to remove them and fill screw holes when leaving the property.

For further information on product suitability contact the Office of Fair Trading or call 137 468.