Practice home safety as a family and you could prevent home invasions, serious accidents and the need for costly home repairs. Home safety habits also help your family to know how to respond should emergencies occur. Organizations like the American Red Cross encourage Americans to practice home safety. They also encourage adults to teach teens and children what to do in the event of an emergency.
Home safety lessons
Knowing who to contact is only the start when it comes to practicing home safety. Yet, this beginning step is one of the most important. Regardless of where you live, 911 should be the first number to call during an actual emergency.
But, 911 isn’t the only number your children need to know. Teach your children, including young children, their grandparents, aunts and uncles telephone numbers. Also, teach them your work and cell phone numbers. Your children should know at least three of these telephone numbers by heart. Write important telephone numbers down for children to keep in their address books and book bags.
Familiarize yourself with how to respond to a fire, tornado, floor and earthquake. For example, you stay near the floor in the case of a fire. Also, gently touch doors and door knobs before exiting rooms. Seek higher ground during a flood.
Stay away from windows during earthquakes and tornadoes. Depending on where you live, teach children how to respond to hurricanes and dust storms. These are minimal emergency response steps. Makes sure that you know how to respond to emergency situations from A to Z.
Responding to non-weather related home emergencies
Install and test smoke alarms. Replace batteries in alarms. Don’t assume that house alarm systems are functioning. Check them. Also, test your home for asbestos, mold and carbon monoxide. Let these three spread and your home could become unsafe for everyone who enters it.
To practice home safety, keep a ladder in the basement, make sure that windows open and close throughout your house, including basement and attic windows. Place flashlights in easily accessible storage areas like kitchen drawers, bedroom nightstands and bathroom cabinets.
Other items to keep on hand include non-perishable food and bottles of water. Also, keep blankets, an extra pair of clothes for each family member and coats, gloves and hats in a safe area. In addition to keeping these items at home, you should also have similar items in at least one of your vehicles.
Teach children not to open the door to strangers, including utility workers. Also, teach children not to play with electrical outlets and household chemicals. Consider installing home security systems. If you have young children or elderly relatives living with you, security systems that allow you to visually check on your home could be a plus.
Mapping out home safety plans forces you to think about the layout of your house, nearby exits and how long it will take your entire family to escape an emergency situation. It also motivates you to educate yourself on how to respond to different types of emergencies. Run regular emergency response and evacuation drills at home and you could have the confidence that your children will know how to respond should an emergency occur while you’re away. Most of all,developing and practicing home safety habits could keep your entire family safe.