Keep Your Family Safe: Home Safety Tips
When it comes to the safety of your home, there are two areas that threats could surface: inside and outside. And in each case, homeowners may not even know about potential safety issues, much less be prepared for them. Of course, some things are common sense, like locks on doors and keeping alcohol out of the reach of children. But even in these areas you may be lax. For example, locks won’t do you any good if you fail to use them. And it certainly doesn’t matter if the deadbolt is secured when the front window is wide open. If you think that perhaps you have not given as much attention to the safety of your home and family as you should, then here are just a few things you might want to consider changing.
For starters, there are all kinds of possible safety issues within the home that people never even think to prepare for. If your child swallowed Windex, or a handful of aspirin, would you know who to call? Do you have the number for poison control handy or would you have to look it up? What should you do if the smoke alarm goes off in the middle of the night, there is a fire, and your escape route is blocked? These are serious situations that you need to be prepared for. The good news is; it’s easier than you think.
You likely have smoke detectors in every room in the house, which is a great start. Now you need to make sure they’re kept in good working order by checking the batteries every six months (the easiest way to remember is to do it during daylight savings). In addition, you should install fire extinguishers on every floor of the house (and one in the kitchen). By keeping them near possible exits (staircases, windows, and doors) you’ll have them on hand if you need to put out flames in order to get through. As for harmful chemicals that could be ingested by children or pets, you can safely store them out of reach in locked cabinets. And don’t forget to install CO (carbon monoxide) sensors. This deadly gas can come from household appliances and it’s undetectable to human senses, so it pays to spend $20 on this plug-in device (plus, some states require them by law in single-family dwellings).
Now that the inside of your home is secure, it’s time to broaden your view. You also need to protect yourself against outside threats, and a lock on the door may not be enough. Start by checking websites or contacting local law enforcement to get information on criminal activity and sex offenders in your area. This will help you determine what level of security is needed. A fence with a locked gate is always a good idea (to keep pets and kids in and perps out), but you may also want to install flood lights, intruder alarms, or even surveillance cameras (although in most cases the last option is overkill). You could also talk to neighbors about setting up a neighborhood watch to help protect the entire community. It doesn’t take much to keep your home and family safe, and by addressing potential problem areas, you can easily improve your security without a lot of added expense.