Accidents happen. That’s an unfortunate fact. Though it’s not fun to think about, every year people deal with unexpected disasters like kitchen fires or carbon monoxide leaks. But with a little forethought and preparation, you can keep your home and family safe. Don’t be caught off guard; make sure you’re equipped with these five essential safety items.
1. Fire Extinguisher
This may be the most obvious safety item on our list. Every home needs at least one fire extinguisher, but preferably more. One should stay in the kitchen within easy reach in case of grease fires or a towel getting too close to your burner (it happens to the best of us!). Make sure you regularly inspect it and replace the extinguisher when it’s expired. One last fire safety tip: make sure everyone in your home knows where your fire extinguishers are and how to use them. For more tips on buying the right fire extinguisher, check out Apartment Therapy’s concise guide here.
2. Smoke Detectors
You may know your smoke alarm as the thing that beeps nonstop when the batteries run out. But smoke alarms can save lives in the event of a fire. It’s best to have a smoke alarm in every room of your home. The U.S. Fire Administration recommends testing smoke detectors about once a month and replacing their batteries once or twice every year. Along with smoke detectors, it’s also recommended that you install carbon monoxide detectors in each room. You can purchase combination smoke detectors and carbon monoxide alarms, which can be easier to check on each month.
3. First Aid Kit
Like a fire extinguisher, every home should have a regularly updated first aid kit. You can purchase a pre-stocked kit or make your own. Make sure your kit includes bandages in different sizes, a pair of tweezers, adhesive tape, and antibiotic ointment. What’s great about having a first aid kit is all your essential first aid items are in one organized place. No need to scramble around junk drawers looking for a heavy-duty bandage or gauze. You can find a full list of recommended first aid kit supplies here, which was put together by the Mayo Clinic.
4. Emergency Contact List
Put together a list of important contacts, including poison control, the fire department, local police station, and primary care doctors. If you have pets, include the number of an emergency 24/7 vet clinic. Keep this list in an easy-to-reach spot and always let babysitters, house sitters, and dog sitters know where to find it. If you have kids in the house, remind them to check the list in case of an emergency. Set a reminder to review this list regularly. It can be easy to forget to change a doctor’s number or add an updated phone number. Be proactive with this list so you’ll never be caught off guard in an emergency.
5. Outlet Covers
Whether you have kids in the house or if kids regularly visit your home, it’s a smart idea to get covers for your electrical outlets. Children are curious and get into everything – and are therefore at a high risk of shock and burn injuries around uncovered outlets. So take away the temptation and put covers over your outlets.
Don’t live in fear of home disasters. By taking the time to prepare for the worse, you can keep your family safe. Be sure to update your safety equipment and contact list regularly, and make sure everyone knows the plan in case of emergency