Your home is your haven - there's nothing better than knowing you're protected and out of harm's way. These home safety tips will help keep your home safe from fire and other common household hazards.
Fire detection is key to making sure everyone gets out of a burning house safely. Smoke detectors can detect smoke before you can smell it, giving you and your family extra time to escape from a fire.
Learn more about choosing a smoke detector for your home.
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A fire extinguisher is a must for your home's kitchen, the place where many house fires start, but you should have one on every floor of your home. Different extinguishers tackle different types of fires, so look closely at units marked A, B and C. These letters refer to which types of fires the extinguishers address:
Each extinguisher also has a rating number indicating the size fire it can handle. Some units rate for all three types of fires, but they have a larger size rating for one type than for another. Choose a fire extinguisher that is right for the types of fire that might break out in a particular area.
Learn more about choosing the right fire extinguisher for your home.
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Map out your escape route and identify a family meeting place in case of fire. If you have more than one floor in your home, consider investing in a fire escape ladder. According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), you should have an alternate exit out of every room. Also, make sure that all windows and doors can be opened and shut. Fix any windows that have been painted or nailed shut, doors that are stubborn or "stuck," and locks that are difficult to operate. Security bars or grates over windows or doors should have quick-release devices that allow you to open them in an emergency. The NFPA also recommends that you hold a fire drill twice a year.
Learn how to make a fire escape plan.
Carbon monoxide is a colorless, tasteless, odorless gas that can kill. It is produced by common household sources, including wood or gas fireplaces, gas or oil furnaces, wood stoves, gas appliances, a clogged chimney or improper venting in a garage. Today's energy-efficient, airtight homes contribute to the problem by decreasing the exchange of inside and outside air.
Symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning mimic those of the flu so you might not realize you are being poisoned until damage is done. A carbon monoxide detector in your home will alert you when the level of the gas in the air has become dangerous.
Learn more about choosing the best carbon monoxide detector for your home.
Radon is a naturally occurring, odorless, colorless and tasteless radioactive gas proven to cause cancer. So, it is important for you to test your home for its presence. Radon test kits are easy to use and inexpensive, providing complete instructions for where to send your sample for analysis.
Know where the shut-off valves and switches are for your home’s water, gas and electricity. Label them with brightly colored tags so they are easy for anyone in the household to locate in the event of an emergency.
Falls in the home lead to thousands of injuries every year. While the elderly are the most susceptible, all ages are at risk if a house isn't arranged for safety. Here's how to prevent these kinds of accidents in your home.
Storage and Organization
Garage Door Openers
If you have an older home, chances are good that you have a garage door that lacks modern safety features. Invest in a new door and an opener that offers automatic reversal sensors and a photoelectric safety sensor eye to prevent crushing injuries or deaths. This feature is especially important in households with small children and pets.
Practice knife safety:
Practice Fire Safety in the Kitchen
Outlets in the kitchen, especially those near the sink and water lines, should be GFCI outlets. These outlets work by monitoring current flow to protect people from electrocution.
Most local codes now require these outlets in new construction. Older houses may need retrofitting. Use the “test” button monthly to ensure proper function.
In the event of a power outage, make sure that your home has plenty of emergency lighting so you aren't stuck in the dark.