Home safety is at the heart of protecting the wellbeing of those in your household. It can help prevent everyday accidents as well as provide protection from more serious emergencies
Safety for the Home Tips for 2023: How to Keep Your Family Secure
As you probably know, safety for the home goes beyond locking your doors and windows. A secure home environment includes much more, from installing essential safety devices to educating your family about emergency procedures. Let’s take a look at how to keep your home and your family safe and out of harms way by walking through a home-safety checklist.
- Regular inspection, testing, and maintenance of smoke detectors, carbon monoxide detectors, and fire extinguishers is essential.
- Childproofing your home with safety gates, window guards and furniture secured to walls can help create a more accident-free environment for children.
- Home security systems provide peace of mind (and potential insurance discounts!) while disaster preparedness includes creating an escape plan and assembling an emergency kit for family members.
Essential Home Safety Tips
Smoke detectors, carbon monoxide detectors, and fire extinguishers play a crucial role in maintaining a safe home environment. If you make sure to regularly inspect, test, and properly maintain these devices, you can create a safer environment for your family and minimize the risk of severe fire or gas-related incidents. While it may seem tedious, a home safety checklist can be a very helpful tool in this process.
Let’s look a bit closer at the importance of each of these potentially life-saving devices.
Having a smoke detector and alarm installed is crucial to alert you of any potential fires. But it’s equally important to test your smoke alarms and detectors regularly to ensure optimal functionality. Unfortunately, this is often overlooked. By lighting a match and holding it near the detector, you can verify that the alarm is sounding. Additionally, for smoke detectors that are not hard-wired, periodically run a battery test, and be aware of any chirping or other alerts which may signal a weak battery.
For added peace of mind, and for those who travel regularly, consider investing in internet-connected smoke detectors that can notify you of an emergency even when you’re not at home, and even contact the fire department.
Carbon Monoxide Detectors
Carbon monoxide is an invisible, odorless, and tasteless gas that can be lethal if inhaled over an extended period. Installing a carbon monoxide alarm in your home can help protect your family from this difficult-to-spot and dangerous gas. To ensure proper functioning, similar to your smoke detector, test your carbon monoxide detector regularly by pressing the test button, which will quickly confirm whether it’s working correctly.
Perhaps well-known but critical, fire extinguishers can potentially provide life-saving assistance in the event of a fire outbreak. To ensure their effectiveness, it’s important to store fire extinguishers in easily accessible locations and educate all family members on how to use them in an emergency. While they are not overly difficult to operate, during a serious event, they may not be all that easy to use as a stressful situation arises. So, take a moment and learn how to turn off safety locks and make sure your family knows exactly how to use the extinguisher. It’s worth a safe practice or having your family watch a manufacturer’s sponsored video that walks through the operation. Additionally, to avoid the need for one altogether, discard any excessive lighters or matches, and keep the remaining ones out of children’s reach.
Childproofing Your Home
We all agree that when it comes to our children, safety is an absolute top priority. Creating a safe environment for them involves installing safety gates, and window guards, and securing furniture. If you employ the necessary precautions, you can increase the likelihood that your kids will be well-protected from potential hazards.
Let’s explore how to childproof your home effectively.
Installing safety gates serves to protect young children from gaining access to hazardous areas, such as stairs or kitchens. There are various types of safety gates available, including:
- Hardware-mounted gates
- Pressure-mounted gates
- Retractable gates
- Play-yard gates
Make sure to install safety gates according to the manufacturer’s instructions and periodically inspect them to ensure they are installed and functioning appropriately. You may be surprised to learn that the pressure feature is loose or that the screws holding the gate in place have somehow loosened.
Installing window guards is essential to ensure the safety of children from falling out of windows and balconies. Don’t ignore this potential danger. Screens are not designed to hold children inside, and a child can accidentally fall out of a window by pressing against the screen.
However, make sure the guards you install can be removed in case of a fire. All safety measures should be made in full compliance with local building and fire codes.
Securing Furniture and Storing Hazardous Items
Affixing heavy furniture to walls helps to avoid tip-overs and potential injuries to small children. It’s also important to store cleaners, chemicals prescription medications, and plastic bags away from children, as they can pose a risk of injury if left on the floor of garages, in cabinets, or the backyard.
Home Security Systems
A full-service and complete home security system provides not only peace of mind but a likely deterrent to potential break-ins, which will help safeguard your home and its contents such as jewelry and job-related items like computer equipment given the rapidly increasing work-from-home environments.
Investing in a dependable alarm system can discourage burglars and notify you of potential intrusions, protecting your home and family. Various types of alarm systems are available, including:
- Burglar alarms
- Fire alarms and smoke detectors
- Carbon monoxide detectors
- Video surveillance
- Environmental sensors
- Monitored or unmonitored security systems
Select the one that is the best fit for you and offers the highest level of protection for your home, although be aware of certain requirements or discounts that your insurance carrier may apply in this area.
Implementing security cameras around your property can surveil activity and dissuade potential intruders. There is a wide variety of security cameras available, including:
- Outdoor security cameras
- Video doorbells
- Floodlight cameras
- Solar-powered cameras
- Weatherproof home security cameras
- Indoor cameras such as nanny cams, desktop/board cameras, and hidden security cameras
Regularly review the footage and adjust the settings as necessary to ensure optimal security for your home. Don’t assume that your camera is working and spend a few extra minutes to confirm. Also, make sure to comply with all applicable laws and regulations when you introduce cameras of any kind.
Smart Home Integration
Integrating your security system with smart home technology provides the benefit of remote monitoring and control. This allows you to access and manage your security system from any location at any time.
Smart home integration can involve connecting a security system to lights, thermostats, door locks, and other devices, giving you full control over your home’s security. This can be particularly helpful if you are not regularly present in your home for work or vacation purposes.
Electrical Safety Measures
Electrical safety is a crucial aspect of maintaining a safe home environment. By regularly inspecting electrical cords, outlets, and appliances, you can prevent fires and electrical hazards.
Let’s explore some essential electrical safety measures.
Periodically assessing cords for any signs of damage and replacing them as needed can help to avert fires and electrical shocks. Be sure to check all electrical components, including cables, wires, and outlets, for any signs of damage.
This simple yet crucial step can significantly reduce the risk of electrical incidents in your home. Additionally, be very cautious with window cords, as they cause the death of an average of one child per month due to strangulation.
Preventing electrical incidents involves avoiding overloading electrical outlets and employing outlet covers to protect children from electrical hazards. Utilizing outlet plug covers is an inexpensive means of safeguarding children from inserting their fingers or objects into an electrical outlet.
Be sure to regularly inspect electrical systems and ensure they are not overloaded to reduce the risk of electrical accidents.
Disconnecting appliances when not in use and keeping them away from water sources helps to avoid electrical incidents. While this may seem like extra work, it’s an important safeguard to implement. When purchasing new appliances, take a moment to evaluate safety features such as UL-listed cords and GFCI outlets.
Also, remember to avoid repairing damaged plugs yourself, as this may cause further damage or hazards. Always work with a licensed and experienced electrician when you introduce any projects that involve electric needs.
Outdoor Home Safety
Outdoor home safety plays a key role in reducing exposures like fire, theft, and other potential serious hazards. Some extra planning outside of your home can mitigate these risks. Exterior lighting, landscaping, and secure entry points not only enhance the appearance of your property but also contribute to a safer home environment.
Let’s also take a look at these outdoor safety measures.
Installing motion-sensing lights around your property is an effective way to deter intruders and improve visibility at night. There are various exterior lighting options available, such as:
- Step lights
- Garden lights
- Bollard lights
- String lights
Consider installing lights along pathways leading to your home for optimal security. This will provide more security and help you and your guests feel more comfortable when walking around your property.
A well-maintained landscape not only enhances the beauty of your property but also eliminates hiding spots for potential intruders. Utilize defensive landscaping techniques, such as thorny, spiky, and dense bushes or hedging, to form a secure barrier around your property.
Managing significant overgrowth near your residence is also essential to minimize the potential for fire.
Secure Entry Points
Reinforcing doors and windows with strong locks is crucial. Consider installing smart locks or an access control solution for added security.
In addition to securing entry points, it is important to install window and glass break sensors, install window guards and ensure they are connected to a home security system for maximum protection.
Being prepared for emergencies is crucial for the safety of your family. Creating an escape plan, assembling an emergency kit, and educating family members on safety procedures can make all the difference in times of crisis. Make sure to involve every member of the household.
Let’s explore these essential preparedness measures.
Developing a comprehensive escape plan for your family in case of emergencies, such as fires or natural disasters, is essential. Here are the steps to create an effective escape plan.
- Outline two ways out of each room.
- Designate a meeting place outside the home.
- Practice the plan with your family.
- Post the plan in a visible place.
By following these steps, you can ensure that your family is prepared and knows what to do in case of an emergency.
Regularly rehearsing the plan with all members of the household ensures that everyone is aware of the necessary steps to take in the event of an emergency. Remember, when an unfortunate emergency arises, given the anxiety involved, a plan that’s not well-known or rehearsed may not be as effective.
Putting together a well-stocked emergency kit with essential supplies, such as food, water, and first-aid items, can prepare you for dangerous situations that may abruptly occur. Your emergency kit should include items such as:
- A first aid kit
- A battery-powered radio
- A whistle
- A fire extinguisher
- A manual can opener
- A list of emergency contacts
Having these essentials readily available can make a significant difference and save lives, in an emergency.
In conclusion, maintaining a safe home environment involves a combination of essential safety devices, childproofing measures, security systems, electrical safety, outdoor safety, and emergency preparedness. By implementing these strategies and educating your family about safety procedures, you can ensure that your home is a more secure environment for your loved ones. Remember, make the extra investment ahead of time to minimize or even eliminate big risks related to your home.
Frequently Asked Questions
Why is safety important at home?
Home safety is at the heart of protecting the well-being of those in your household. It can help prevent everyday accidents as well as protect from more serious emergencies like fires and drownings.
Taking steps to ensure the safety of your home is important for people of all ages, whether young children or grandparents are living in the dwelling.
What are the essential home safety devices that I should install?
To ensure the safety of your family, installing smoke detectors, carbon monoxide detectors, and fire extinguishers in your home is essential.
Smoke detectors alert you to the presence of smoke (which notice needs to be quick), carbon monoxide detectors alert you to the presence of carbon monoxide (remember, it’s odorless), and fire extinguishers can help you put out small fires before they become larger (don’t let something containable grow much larger).
What are the benefits of integrating my security system with smart home technology?
Integrating your security system with smart home technology offers the convenience of remote monitoring and control, giving you greater peace of mind.
This allows you to check in on your home from anywhere, and even control certain features from your phone or other device. You can set up alerts to notify you of any suspicious activity, and even control lights.
How can I maintain electrical safety in my home?
Regularly inspect electrical cords, outlets, and appliances, don’t overload outlets, and use covers to protect children. Also, remember to use a licensed and experienced electrician when you embark on any projects involving electrical systems in your home.
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