Safety First! Ten essential items every home should have

It’s fall, the kids are back at school, and it’s a great time to make sure you have taken all precautions to keep your family – and home – safe. Here are ten essential safety items every house should have:

Smoke detectors. That work! Every home should have one on each floor and one outside each sleeping area. Change the batteries when you change the clocks for daylight savings time twice each year. It is recommended that smoke detectors are changed after ten years, and you test monthly to ensure all are in working order.

Carbon monoxide detectors. Install these detectors outside each sleeping area. Do not install in the kitchen or near fuel burning heaters or devices.

Fire extinguishers. Your house should have one in the kitchen, one on the second floor or in the bedroom, one near any fireplaces, and one in your car. Everyone in the family should know how to use them, and check periodically and replace when expired.

Fire ladder. If any family member has a bedroom on your third floor, make sure it is equipped with a fire ladder that everyone knows how to use.

Evacuation plan. Speaking of a fire ladder, It is imperative that you have an evacuation or emergency plan  that is reviewed with and understood by all family members should you need to leave the house in a hurry due to fire or any other natural disasters. Put it in writing!

First aid kit. Have a first aid kit on hand – hopefully you’ll never need to use it! You can buy a pre-assembled kit or make your own. Make sure you have the following items on hand, and periodically check everything and replace what has expired:

  • First aid manual
  • Band aids
  • Peroxide
  • Antiseptic
  • Antibiotic ointment
  • Benadryl
  • Saline drops
  • Cotton balls and swabs
  • Thermometer
  • Ibuprofin
  • Latex gloves
  • Ace bandage
  • Scissors
  • Safety pins
  • Needle (for splinters)

Flashlights. Make sure everyone has a flash light next to their bed in the event of a power outage. Stash an extra supply of batteries so you don’t run out.

Emergency phone numbers. This list should be clearly posted for anyone in your home and should include cell phone numbers of family members, neighbors’ numbers, 911, doctors’/pediatricians’ numbers, and poison control.

A safe. This may sound crazy, but a safe not only protects important papers and valuables from burglary, but from fire and water, should anything happen to your home. Don’t think you have anything valuable? The deed to your house, birth certificates, marriage certificates, etc. would all be difficult to replace!

Outlet covers. Keep unused electrical outlets covered with safety covers – not just to protect any kids that are in the house, but to protect everyone from electrical shock.

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Rachael Ray