10 WAYS TO MAKE YOUR HOME SAFER FOR YOUR FAMILY
(by Joanne Aubuchon)
Your home is supposed to be a safe place for the family to relax. But with one out of every 36 homes being burglarized each year, sometimes it’s hard to feel safe. And everyone knows that many accidents happen at home. So, here are some great ways to make your safe haven even safer.
- Get an Alarm System. Research demonstrates that alarm systems work to deter crime. 90% of convicted burglars revealed that they avoided homes with an alarm system and if they encountered an alarm, they fled. There are many affordable systems available today, both monitored and un-monitored. A sign in your yard advertising an alarm system can sometimes be all the deterrent necessary.
- Learn How to Answer the Door. Children should not answer the door at all unless you have told them you are expecting company. Ask anyone at your door for identification and to state their business. If you do not feel safe, do not let them in. If you don’t know who is at the door, let them know that you ARE home but not accepting visitors.
- Install a Peephole. Law enforcement agencies are unanimous in suggesting that you add a peephole to your door. It’s a low-cost piece of home security gold that can be installed quickly and simply. A good peephole will provide a wide-angle view of your visitors so you can decide to let them in or not.
- Light Up the Darkness. Light is a sure-fire way to deter crime and mischief. Lighting up your front porch, front yard, and back yard is a good deterrent. You may also consider motion-activated lights around where your vehicles are parked and at all points of entry into your home. Well-lit doors allow you to identify visitors even after dark.
- Learn Basic Rescue Procedures. Knowing basic first aid and the major rescue procedures can save lives. Visit your local hospital, Rescue Squad, or Emergency Response Center for classes in CPR, basic first aid, and the Heimlich maneuver to aid with choking. A small amount of time invested could save a family member’s life. Do not attempt these procedures without the proper training. Also, have a complete first aid kit handy.
- Make a Fire Plan. Creating a fire plan is a simple, yet wise measure to ensure that your family knows what to do and where to go in the event of a fire. Make sure everyone knows where to gather outside the home and away from danger. Explain how to touch doors to see if they are hot, warning that fire is on the other side and another exit should be used. Also, show children how to open and exit windows if necessary.
- Show Your Numbers. Make sure your street address numbers are visible from the street during the day and night. It is recommended to post them clearly on your home and at the street, such as on a mailbox. If you need aid in an emergency, this will help emergency responders find you quickly. The faster they find your house, the faster you get help. In an emergency, every second counts.
- Use Ground Fault Outlets. GFCIs are required by building codes in certain rooms in your home, but they are a safety measure in every room. If you own a newer home you’ve noticed them in your kitchen and bathroom or in areas that are prone to moisture like a crawl space. If you have an older home you can add GFCI receptacles for about $10 each, and it’s a smart investment.
- Lock Up the Bad Stuff. Keep household cleaners and medications out of the kitchen and away from food. Cough drops look like candy, some pills look like candy, even shaving cream looks like whip cream. Keep poisonous products out of reach and under lock and key. Also, any firearms kept in the home should be stored locked away from little hands. Even your emergency weapon can be locked in a small gun safe with quick access measures that allow you to get it, but no one else.
- Make the Bathroom Safer. Every member of your family spends time in the bathroom, so why not make it as safe as possible? Install grab bars inside the shower and beside the toilet for aid when standing or moving. Slip-resistant mats inside and outside the shower can prevent slipping and falling on wet surfaces. Also, lowering your hot water heater temperature to below 120 degrees can prevent accidental scalding and burns.
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About Joanne Aubuchon –
Joanne is a resident writer for SERVIZ, an on-demand home services company offering everything from plumbing repairs to carpet cleaning across the US. Joanne is a writer by day and reader by night. Joanne loves writing about saving money, raising kids and improving the quality of our lives. When she is not writing, you can find her trying out new salad recipes, playing ball with her kids, or cheering in the stands at her son’s soccer games.