You want your home to be a safe, secure place for family and friends. Being ready for an emergency situation will put your mind at ease. Get these important home safety essentials so you’re prepared in the event of an emergency.
Your List of Home Safety Essentials Includes Fire Extinguishers
A fire extinguisher is one of the most important home safety essentials. It helps put out small fires and can save lives. Your fire extinguishers should be located in an easy-to-access area on each level of your home. Purchase extinguishers rated for fires in the home. Teach family members where they are located and how to use them. Make sure to check the fire extinguisher monthly so that it is ready to use in the event of an emergency.
Smoke and Carbon Monoxide (CO) Detectors
Smoke and carbon monoxide (CO) detectors are the best way to prevent fire casualties. Since smoke and CO detector batteries need to be replaced at least once a year, a combined unit is the most cost-effective solution.
Newer smoke and CO detectors are efficient and reliable. Install a smoke detector on every level of your home and on the inside and outside of each bedroom. Test your detectors monthly and always have fresh batteries on hand.
Home Safety Essentials for First-Aid
Gather supplies for a first aid kit when preparing your home safety essentials. Keep your kit well-supplied so when an emergency arises, you will be prepared. Basics include Band-Aids, antiseptic wash, sterile gauze pads, medical tape, cold packs, sting and bite treatment, scissors, tweezers, antibiotic ointment, and a mild pain reliever like Tylenol.
A well-stocked disaster kit provides you with survival essentials. Your home should have supplies that last for at least 72 hours in the event of an emergency. Include supplies for pets and necessary medications for family members. According to Ready.gov (website of the Department of Homeland Security), a disaster kit should include the following:
- Water – one gallon per person per day
- Food – non-perishable food items like canned beans or dried meat
- Manual can opener for food
- NOAA Weather Radio – battery-powered or hand wind/crank with tone alert
- Whistle used to signal for help
- A mask per person to filter contaminated air
- Pliers or a wrench to turn off utilities
- Extra batteries
- Local maps
- Cell phone with chargers and a backup battery
- Rags or towelettes
- Garbage bags for sanitation
In the event of an emergency such as a fire, every bedroom needs an alternative escape route if the planned route is blocked. A different escape route may mean exiting through a window. Bedrooms on an upper level should have an escape ladder for home safety essentials. Collapsing ladders hung from a window are the most convenient. Make sure everyone in the household knows where to find the ladder and how to use it.