When it comes to protecting your family and your home, there are simple things you can do to prepare for emergencies. These home safety essentials will help your household be ready for natural disasters and emergency situations. You and your family will feel peace of mind knowing you have safety items and protocols in place to deal with unexpected situations.
A medical kit will help you take care of minor injuries or buy time until you can get to a healthcare facility. There are pre-made first-aid kits available at pharmacies and online, or you can build your own. Typical essentials to put in a first-aid kit include gauze and bandages, antiseptic spray, antibiotic ointment, and over-the-counter pain relievers. Customize your kit according to what you think your family may need. Include antacids and allergy medications if you or your family members are likely to require them.
Fire Extinguishers are Home Safety Essentials
When it comes to home safety essentials, a few strategically placed fire extinguishers can save lives and property. Purchase at least one extinguisher for each level of your house and keep a device outdoors by the grill. Many house fires start in the kitchen or garage, so find an easy-to-access location to hang an extinguisher in these spaces. Fire extinguishers come in various ratings, so be sure to select the appropriate type for each area.
Disaster kits are made to assist people when they are forced to do without everyday conveniences like hot water and electricity. Stock up on items like bottled water, canned food, flashlights, and hygiene items. When storing water, an easy rule to remember is to have one gallon, per person, per day. You will want to have non-perishable food items. Canned food is the most stable and will last the longest. Be sure to include a can opener in your kit. When adding flashlights, also include extra batteries, candles, and matches.
Escape Routes and Ladders
All bedrooms need to have at least two exits in case of a house fire. The door counts as one and a window is usually the second escape route. If the bedroom is not on the ground floor, install a collapsible ladder. Once you have the ladders in place, practice evacuating, especially if you have young children in the home. All household members should know how to unfold and use escape ladders. Test the smoke alarms to verify they are working and so everyone will recognize the sound of the alarm. Choose a meeting spot a safe distance away from the house.
Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarms
Of all of the home safety essentials, smoke detectors and carbon monoxide alarms are critical. Most building codes require a smoke detector in every bedroom, the hallways outside of the sleeping areas, and on every floor of the house. If the smoke alarms are hardwired into the house, follow the manufacturer’s guidelines concerning the replacement schedule. If they are battery-operated, replace the batteries twice a year. Test your detectors monthly to make sure they are working properly.
Home Safety Essentials Include an Emergency Contact List
It is a good idea to have a hand-written or printed emergency contact list. Many of us rely on our cell phones to carry this information, but if you cannot recharge your device, you will not be able to access the numbers. Make copies of the list and put them in several places around the house, including inside your disaster kit. If one area of the home becomes inaccessible, you still will be able to grab your phone list from another place.