Personal safety both in and outside the home should always be a priority for you and your family. With just a few inexpensive steps, it’s easy to ensure that your home and environment are secure and safe.
- Keep a first aid kit handy in the kitchen or bathroom.
- Have a list on the refrigerator with numbers for the local hospital, primary care physicians, poison control center, and allergies/illnesses of everyone living in the home.
- Buy a timer that will turn on an interior light at night and leave a radio or TV on to make it look like someone is home when you leave the house.
- Measure your windows and buy dowel rods from a local craft store. Cut the dowel rods so they will fit in the sill so the window won’t open, even if it is unlocked.
- Install a peephole if you don’t have one already.
- Consider purchasing a security door for the front door; these allow easy communication with whoever rings the doorbell while providing shelter at the same time. One like this, which can be purchased at Home Depot, is a good choice for under $100.
- Make sure your wi-fi is secure and requires a password to access. Do not allow children to give out the password without your permission.
- Carry pepper spray on your keychain.
- Have your keys ready when you approach your car or front door; digging in a purse or pocket means you will be distracted and an easy target for predators.
- Keep all rooms clean and personal belongings off the floor in order to escape quickly and safely in the event of a fire.
- Make sure nothing is blocking the fire sprinklers on the ceiling.
- Always change the batteries on smoke alarms as often as recommended.
- Keep a fire extinguisher under the sink in your kitchen.
- Be wary of candles in the home. Make sure they are kept away from anything flammable, wandering infant hands, and blow them out before going to bed or leaving the house.
Kitchen & Cooking Safety
- Periodically clean crumbs out of toaster ovens and stove tops to avoid anything catching fire.
- Never use water to put out a grease fire. Instead, use a pan lid to smother it.
- Never store food and chemicals near each other.
- Before placing a container in the microwave, make sure it is labeled ‘microwave safe.’
- Keep anything flammable at least three feet away from the stove top.
- Raw meats should be stored at the lowest point in your freezer or refrigerator (if defrosting) so they can’t drip and contaminate other food.
- Always make sure wire insulation is not cracked or broken in any way.
- Make sure to always use light bulbs of correct wattage.
- If an outlet feels warm to the touch, contact your local electricity company. This could indicate there is something wrong with the wiring.
- Do not nail down or staple cords; use tape instead.
- Never place lamps or other lighting sources (especially halogen bulbs) that overheat quickly near paper, curtains, etc. as this could start a fire.
- Don’t leave lamps and lights on all the time as they can overheat. Take advantage of natural light during the day.
- Never leave appliances plugged in for long periods of time.
Reviewing these tips and making some small, simple changes can help you avoid a potentially dangerous situation. Although some of these guidelines may seem basic, it is often the everyday precautions that are overlooked and can easily become the biggest problem.
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