Many state and local governments have passed laws in recent years requiring a bare minimum of in-home safety items. Smoke detectors, ground fault interrupters on electrical outlets near sinks or other water sources, etc. While important, these types of requirements are the absolute, bare minimum of in home safety supplies that home owners should consider.
10 Items For a Safer Home
The following list will provide a good starting point for those who understand there is more involved in home safety that simply replacing the batteries in the smoke detector.
- Smoke Detectors: For the most part, landlords and property owners are required to provide functional smoke detectors. In theory, they should also test and replace batteries (in battery operated devices) on at least an annual basis. Tenants and owners alike should always take it upon themselves to regularly test and replace batteries at the first sign of reduction in power.
- Gas Detectors: Though these devices may appear similar looking to smoke detection devices, what they check for are gases, often odorless and colorless. Without proper detection equipment, ones family could easily be in harms way without anyone even knowing. Most homes will benefit from having carbon monoxide tests as well as radon gas, both killers if found in high enough quantities.
- Mold Detection: Certain areas of the country have a preponderance of mold growing capabilities in homes of the region. Houses with basements, near lakes or other bodies of water, or those with poor rain drainage should all be suspect for the ability of mold to grow, hidden away behind wall boards, under the floors, etc. If occupants in these home have allergies or are susceptible to air borne pathogens, mold detection is an absolute must safety action to be taken.
- Emergency Lighting: Even for non-emergencies, times when the dog is barking and one desires to check out the dark night, having a working flashlight ready at hand is an important safety supply. For more catastrophic situations, lanterns, plenty of batteries, solar powered lighting, and even crank or shake flashlights should all be considered for providing emergency lighting.
- Pool Safety: Every year home pools claim the lives of young children who have been left unattended near unprotected swimming pools. While some local municipalities do require that pool enclosures have fenced or cordoned off restraining devices, too many more have no such emergency preventatives in place. If the concept of a physical barrier is too much perhaps electronic sensors with alarm systems might be considered. Additionally, having adequate lighting for pools at night will greatly aid in the safe operations of the home swimming facility.
- Furniture Protections: Once a family’s small children begin to grow and curiosity gets the better of them, they start to explore all the nooks and crannies of a home. As they attempt to stand and walk around they are usually in danger of falling. Depending upon the types of furniture in the home, creating a safer environment for the little ones can spell the difference between happy, healthy babies and those who suffer from unfortunate accidents. Cushioning sharp edges of tables, or fireplace brick, banisters, or any other edges that might protrude into the head or face of a falling infant is a wise consideration.
- Doors and Windows: Keeping prying eyes and hands out of doors or from falling through open windows is also an important home safety consideration. Locking apparatus which is easy for an adult to open, but tough for a child can prevent accidents from happening.
- Drawer and Cabinet Precautions: Even before a child is able to walk, they have the ability to crawl and use their hands to make their way into under counter storage areas. Preventing those prying eyes from having access to potentially lethal chemical solutions under the kitchen or bathroom sink is well worth the expense of installing child proof locking systems.
- Electrical Safety: All those wires behind the television/entertainment area are enticing. Not only to small children but to pets as well. Organizing the wires into neat bundles not only makes for a more safe environment but tends to look better as well. Electrical outlets are also an active draw for enterprising young minds. Covering unused outlets, and providing for protective, hard to remove covers for those in use will help prevent catastrophe for those eager imaginations.
- First Aid Kits: An absolute standard which should be available in every home. Large or small, having immediate access to first aid supplies, even simple things like triple antibiotic ointment, can make a huge difference for someone who is in need of immediate medical care.