Six ways to make your rental property safer for children

Little girl lifting saucepan off stove

Safekids Aotearoa, in partnership with the Starship Foundation, has come up with a list of safety recommendations to make your rental property safer for children.  

Did you know that, on average, 195 children aged under 10 years are admitted to hospital every month as a result of an injury in the home?

Pre-school children aged under five years accounted for most (69%) of these hospital admissions. Importantly, up to half of injuries to young children under 5 years old were linked to structural aspects of the home. 

Landlords must provide reasonably safe homes to families. Making your rental property safer can help protect it, and even add value. 

Below are 6 Safekids Aotearoa recommendations to make rental properties safer for children:

  1. Prevent falls: Install barriers and balustrades on decks and areas with a 100cm fall height or higher. Install security stays on windows with an outside drop of 1 metre or more
  2. Prevent hot water burns: Water coming from the hot tap should be no more than 50°C (water in the cylinder should be set to 60°C)
  3. Prevent fire: It is compulsory for rental properties to have a minimum of one working smoke alarm within 3 metres of every bedroom door (or any room where someone sleeps) and on every level of a home, including split levels. New or replacement smoke alarms must be a long-life photoelectric smoke alarm
  4. Prevent cuts: Install safety glass in low-level glazing such as in windows, door panels, shower panels or bath enclosures, furniture and cabinetry. Safety tip: Put stickers on glass doors so children can see the glass panel
  5. Prevent poisoning: Have lockable cupboards, cabinets and drawers in the kitchen, bathroom, laundry and garage / garden shed where harmful chemicals may be stored
  6. Prevent driveway accidents: Have a fenced play area away from the driveway, front door and garage.

Need more help making your rental properties safer?

For more suggestions on home design, modifications and maintenance activities that contribute to safer homes, read Safekids' Safe as houses guide.