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Security Tips

Today, homeowners can choose from a wide variety of home safety products. These offer inexpensive protection for your most priceless possession - your family.

Fire Safety Products and Tips

  • Fire Extinguisher. A fire extinguisher is a must for every kitchen. There are different extinguishers for different types of fires. The labels on the units are marked A, B and C.
    • Class A extinguishers are designed to fight fires involving paper, wood, textiles and plastics. The material inside smothers the fire by cutting off the oxygen that feeds it.
    • Class B extinguishers are designed to fight fires involving flammable liquids, such as grease, oil, gasoline and paint. Two kinds of material are used: one smothers the fire and the other creates a chemical reaction to extinguish the fire.
    • Class C extinguishers use non-conductive materials to fight fires in live electrical equipment.
  • Smoke Detectors. Battery-operated detectors or plug-in detectors with battery backups help ensure that the unit works in case of a power outage. Test monthly and replace batteries annually. Install smoke detectors on every level of your home and inside or near every bedroom.
  • Evacuation Plan. Make sure each family member knows how to get safely outside by at least two routes. Designate a safe place for everyone to meet.
  • Fire Escape Ladders. Purchase fire escape ladders for each upstairs bedroom. Today's ladders are tangle-free, strong, lightweight and easy to use.

Theft Deterrence Products and Tips

  • Automatic Timers. Set your home's lights to turn on and off at specific times with a timer. Burglars will be less tempted to break in if they see activity within the house.
  • Quality Locksets and Deadbolts. A quality lockset and deadbolt will improve your home's security and decor.
  • Peepholes and Cameras. A peephole is a tried and true safety method: See who is at the door before opening it. Well-placed cameras offer the same protection, but extend your field of vision far beyond the front door.
  • Outdoor Lighting and Motion Detectors. Highlight shaded areas of your property with low-energy outdoor lights and motion detectors.
  • Home Security System. Consider installing an unmonitored home security system or signing up for a monitored security service.

Child Safety Products and Tips

  • Prohibit Access. Lock up household cleaners, medicines and vitamins. Use special childproofing latches and locks on kitchen and bathroom cabinets, and restrict access to dangerous areas. Use outlet covers to help prevent electric shock. Keep all plants ‚Äì poisonous or otherwise ‚Äì out of reach.
  • Prevent Slips and Falls. Place safety gates at stairs. Install window guards. Use a rubber mat in your bathtub to prevent slipping. Don't leave a baby unattended on a changing table.
  • Avoid Water Hazards. Never leave a child alone near a sink, tub, bucket or container. Store buckets and containers upside down. Set the temperature on your water heater to 120 degrees. Cover pools and hot tubs when not in use, and secure your fence with self-locking gates.
  • Avoid Choking and Suffocation Hazards. Keep floors free from small objects. Install cordless window blinds. Give only age-appropriate toys to your child. Remove fluffy bedding, toys and pillows from a baby's crib to prevent suffocation.

Electrical Safety Products and Tips

  • GFCI Outlets. Hire a certified electrician to upgrade the two-prong outlets in your home with three-prong Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter (GFCI) outlets. It's especially important to have GFCI outlets where water or moisture accumulates.
  • Surge Protectors. Consider installing surge protection devices to protect your electronic and electrical appliances from electrical surges.
  • Avoiding and Treating Injuries

  • First-Aid Kit. Stock your first aid kit with clean supplies and fresh medicines, including ipecac in case of poisoning emergencies. Keep phone numbers handy for emergency services, poison control and doctors' offices.
  • Carbon Monoxide Detectors. Carbon monoxide detectors can be battery-operated or hard-wired into your home. Battery-operated detectors or plug-in detectors with battery backup continue to work during power outages.
  • Test for Radon, Mold and Lead-Based Paint. If your home was built before 1978, have a lead-paint inspection.
  • Knife Storage. When storing knives in a drawer, use covers to prevent injury while reaching in the drawer. Always keep knives and other sharp utensils out of the reach of children.
  • Medication Storage. Lock medicines away to keep children from accidentally ingesting them. Cabinet locks are available for securing medications and other hazardous substances.
  • Pool Safety. Use a motion detector and an alarm to warn you when someone goes near your swimming pool.
  • Gun Storage. Make sure your gun is properly stored in a locked gun cabinet.

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