Is Your Home Ready For An Emergency?

From the Home Safety Council ~

The kitchen is perhaps the most potentially dangerous place in the house, because it’s where water, electricity - and in some cases, natural gas - all come together.

  • Make sure you have a fire extinguisher handy near the stove, and make sure everyone in the house knows how and when to use it. You should never fight a fire if it compromises your ability to escape.
  • If you have any electrical outlets near the kitchen sink, they need to have ground-fault circuit breakers on them to reduce the threat of shocks near spilled water.
  • If you have small children in the house, you need child safety latches on all of the under-counter doors and drawers - not only for poisons, but also for possible cutting or choking hazards.
    Keep a list of emergency numbers: police, fire, ambulance and poison control, by the telephone in the kitchen, or loaded on your auto dialer – just in case.

Moving to the bathroom, where the biggest danger can come from slipping on that wet tile floor:

  • Replace that towel on the floor with a REAL bath mat – one with a non-skid surface on the bottom.
  • Line the bottom of your tub or shower with adhesive non-slip strips.
  • Install grab bars by the shower and toilet. Make sure you have something to grab BEFORE you need it.

Out in the garage, you’re storing all sorts of things, including your cars, so it’s important to keep them protected as well:

  • Make sure you are using shelves that can be anchored to the walls, and that are strong enough to hold the items that you’re storing.
  • Don’t store gasoline in your garage; use an outdoor shed or storage bin instead. Gasoline vapors can explode with just one spark.
  • Make sure your garage door has an auto-reverse function to prevent a pet or small child from becoming trapped underneath it.

And finally – just a few common-sense things to think about for the entire home:

  • Are your hallways and stairwells well-lit? Replace those burned-out or dim bulbs with some of the bright new compact florescent bulbs, so you can save energy and see where you’re going.
  • Keep an extra stock of batteries on hand for your smoke detectors, and make sure you replace them every time you change the clocks. It’s simply an easy habit to get into.
  • Come up with an evacuation plan for your home, and make sure everyone in your family knows how to use it. If you have small children or pets, think about who will be responsible for getting them out of the home safely as well.

And speaking of children – if you have them, there are many other steps in addition these that you should be taking to childproof your home – visit the Home Safety Council which has these and many other safety tips.

Suzanne Dingley

Suzanne Dingley

Licensed Associate Real Estate Broker
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