Protecting Your Home from Internal Threats
- Test every smoke alarm in your home and replace the batteries
- Count how many smoke alarms you have in your house. If you do not have one on every level and near sleeping areas, purchase additional smoke alarms
- Blow out candles before leaving the room or going to sleep; always use a sturdy candle holder or hurricane lamp
- Roll up your sleeves before you start cooking; have oven mitts nearby. Turn pot handles toward the back of the stove
- Store all matches and lighters out of reach of children
- Put water on cigarette butts before throwing them away
- Unplug small appliances such as hair dryers and toasters after using them
- Move anything that can burn, such as dish towels, at least three feet away from the stove\
- Schedule an appointment to have your furnace cleaned and inspected
- Turn space heaters off before going to bed
- Remove any gasoline from your home
- Post your fire escape plan on your refrigerator
- Practice “Stop, Drop and Roll” with your kids
- Designate an outside meeting place for your family in case of a fire or emergency
- If you don’t already have one, install a home security system with fire monitoring
19 GOOD SAFETY HABITS
- Turn down your hot water heater to 120 degrees or less to prevent burns; Test hot water with an elbow before allowing a child to touch
- Put hot food and drinks near the center of the table only
- Look for the UL Mark when you buy appliances
- Put non-slip strips in your tub and shower
- Install night lights in the hallway; Put a flashlight in each bedroom
- Wipe up spills as soon as they happen to prevent slips and falls
- Store cleaners and other poisons away from food
- Post the Poison Control hotline number (1-800-222-1222) next to your phone
- If you have young children, use cabinet locks on cabinets that have poisons such as antifreeze, cleaners, detergents, etc.
- Purchase a carbon monoxide detector for your home; test regularly
- If young children live in or visit your home, move furniture away from windows so they don’t climb up to look out and accidentally fall; tie window cords out of a child’s reach
- Put on safety glasses before any DIY project; put tools away as soon as your project is complete
- Use a ladder, not a chair, when climbing to reach something
- Remove clutter from the stairs
- Remove any painted furniture that is pre-1978 to avoid possible lead exposure
- Lock medications safely in a cabinet
- Clean the lint trap and hose on your dryer
- Write down emergency contact information for your family and post emergency numbers near your phone
- Purchase a first aid kit
Protecting Your Home from External Threats
A state-of-the-art security system is always the best protection for your home, and the extensive range of available systems, at varied prices, makes looking into this solution well worth your time and effort. But it also makes sense, whether you’re home or away on vacation, to take a few simple safety precautions on your own:
- Be sure your outdoor lighting illuminates all entrances to your home.
- Cut back shrubbery to discourage burglars from hiding near window and doors.
- Keep windows and doors locked at all times.
- Make certain your garage door is closed and locked.
- Install a peephole in your front door.
- Windows and sliding glass doors should be secured with auxiliary locks. Special door pins, available at home improvement stores, can prevent your sliding doors from being lifted from their tracks during a burglary attempt.
- Deadbolt locks should be used on all exterior doors (single or double cylinder with a minimum one inch throw is recommended).
- Never hide or store keys or tools outside.
When you’re away from home for extended periods, be sure to take the following steps:
- Let trusted friends and neighbors know that you’ll be away.
- Make your home appear occupied. Attach timers to lights and television sets and set them to turn on and off at different times.
- Have your newspaper and mail held, or picked up by a friend or neighbor.
- Disconnect automatic garage door openers.
- Open some of the drapes or blinds on your windows. During daytime hours, it gives the appearance that someone is home, and during the evening, lights inside the house are more visible.
Your home is the place where you need to feel safe—a little forethought and planning can help keep you and your family secure in your home…whatever its size and location!