Home Safety Tips
Not only is your home your biggest investment, but also it houses everything from your valuables to precious items of sentimental value that can’t be replaced. You can take steps to protect these items by following these tips to keep your family and your property safe.
Secure Windows and Doors
More than 30 percent of burglaries are the result of entry through an unlocked door or window. Use a heavy-duty deadbolt, set a timer on interior lights and even consider investing in a home security system to deter burglars from targeting your home.
Test Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarms
Ensure alarm systems in your home are working properly so your family can be properly alerted to potential danger. Test smoke and carbon dioxide alarms every year and replace their batteries every six months. Set an alarm on your phone or your computer to remind you.
Place smoke alarms on every level of your home and in every bedroom. Working smoke alarms can reduce the risk of dying in a fire by 50 percent.
Carbon monoxide alarms can help protect your family from an invisible killer. You won’t be able to see, taste or smell the gas that can result from faulty generators, heaters, water heaters, clothes dryers and vehicles. But carbon monoxide can cause injury to your or your family or even result in death.
Keep Poisons Away from Your Children
Hide poisonous chemicals and fuels from curious children by keeping them out of their reach or safely concealed behind childproof locks and doorknobs. For their safety and yours, leave these products in original containers and packaging so they can easily be identified. Flammable products especially should always be secured behind locked doors.
Despite your best efforts, an accident can still happen. If you suspect your child has ingested a household chemical, call the American Association of Poison Control Centers at 1-800-222-1222 immediately.
Practice Electrical Safety
Electrical fires are a leading cause of all household fires, but you can reduce your risk. Following these tips from the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) can help protect your family and property from an often preventable disaster.
- Replace or repair damaged or loose electrical cords.
- Avoid running extension cords across doorways or under carpets.
- Have additional circuits added by a qualified electrician to reduce the need to use extension cords.
- Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for plugging an appliance into an outlet.
- Avoid overloading outlets by plugging only one high-wattage appliance into an outlet at a time.
- Call an electrician if outlets or switches feel warm or if lights start to flicker or dim.
- Place lamps on level surfaces and use bulbs that match their recommended wattage.
Monitor Product Recalls
Be vigilant about keeping up with the thousands of recalls in consumer products, pharmaceuticals, medical devices and food. Using a recalled product can result in injury, death or damage to property. You can stay alert to these recalls by opting in to email notices at Recalls.gov. Free apps are also available to notify you of any product recalls.