When you’re moving into a new home, or even updating an existing one, you tend to focus on the fun things of the home, like how you’re going to decorate the walls and arrange the furniture and what you’re going to hang from the windows. It’s easy to forget about the little things, especially the small safety items that are oh-so important to the safety and security of your home.
Instead of overlooking these tiny details, make sure you at least have these 5 important safety items in your home before you even move on to the decorating and furniture arranging. You’ll be glad you have them in the future in case of an emergency.
Obviously when it comes to safety concerns in your home, your first item of business should be to make sure that there is at least 1 fire extinguisher centrally located in the home. Usually a good place for a fire extinguisher is right around the kitchen, as many house fires start as oven or food fires that flare up.
If you live in a two-story home, it’s a good idea to keep at least one fire extinguisher on each floor of the home, so that if a fire were to break out, you wouldn’t have to battle the smoke or flames to get to the only extinguisher in the house. Your best bet is to keep several in your home at various strategic locations, and make sure every family member knows how to access and use them.
A Posted Evacuation Route
Probably the last thing you think about when you move into an exciting new home is how to escape it quickly and safely if anything were to ever happen. While it can be incredibly pessimistic to think about, it’s actually incredibly important to map out a planned evacuation route that you share with the entire family.
Every family member should know the evacuation plan after you’ve taken some time to evaluate where there may be potential safety hazards that could conflict with your route. Map out a good plan, make sure bedrooms on the second floor have some sort of safety ladder stowed away for evacuation, and when you have an escape route planned for everyone, draw it out and post a copy of it in your house where everyone can see it and become familiar with it.
Keep A Fire Blanket in the Kitchen
As mentioned, many home fires often start as small blazes that flare up in the kitchen. It can be as simple a matter as burning some food on the stove top to the point where it catches flames, or it could be something more uncontrollable, such as a sudden oven fire that breaks out as a result of a faulty wire in the oven.
Keeping a fire blanket handy in the kitchen is a good safety idea for a couple of reasons. First, you could easily blanket a small fire that flares up with this handy piece of equipment, and you could also use it to blanket any person who may have been caught up in the small fire. If they have any clothing that got caught in the flames, a fire blanket will help to protect the person and put the flames out.
Handrails on Staircases
Another major safety issue in many homes arises when there are no handrails on or around staircases or balcony areas. Especially if children are in the house, you’ll want to make sure that if there are no handrails installed when you move in, that you have them installed immediately.
Each staircase should have a railing, all outdoor balconies should be thoroughly concealed and all indoor overlook areas (from a loft looking down into the living room, for example) should also have railings of proper height to make sure people don’t topple over the edge.
These same safety measures hold true even if there are no children in the house – in your home, you, as the home owner, are liable for anyone who is injured in your home because of your lack of safety precautions. Save yourself the hassle and make sure all railings are installed before you even move into your home.
In the event of a major natural disaster or storm such as a hurricane or tornado, where would your family go to take cover? Make sure there is at least one place in your home that is suitable for this sort of area, and make sure the area is always stacked with non-perishable food items and bottled water.
This designated area should be treated as an evacuation shelter – a place where your family goes only when there is the threat of incredibly severe weather. While your threat of receiving these natural disasters will, of course, vary based on your location, it’s always a good idea to be prepared should anything ever happen out of the blue.
Jackie Ryan is a freelance writer who consistently updates the safety features in her home. She recently purchased a few oven thermometers to help her more accurately monitor the temperature inside her oven while she’s cooking, in the hopes of preventing possible future fire outbreaks in the kitchen.