Friday, May 15, 2009

Safety In Your Home

Your home is your castle and you should be safe in your castle right? Well there are a number of things that can be done to make your house the safest it can be.

Important things to remember are to implement a safety program and then revisit it yearly (at least).

Some items that should be in your home are:

Smoke detectors - the best kind are wired to the grid with a battery backup (in case the power goes out). If you get just the battery only type be sure to test them on a regular basis. Always remember to change the batteries during you annual safety audit. You should have one located on each floor at a minimum near the bedrooms. One in every bedroom and in the hallways would be best.

Carbon Monoxide detectors - have at least one in the house and don't put it right near the kitchen. Ours is in the master bedroom and try not to put it too close to the floor because carbon monoxide is slightly lighter than air and tends to rise with warm air. This is a silent killer, do not overlook this, and make sure to test it on a regular basis and change the battery during your yearly safety audit.

Fire extinguisher - located in the kitchen and the garage and make sure you get one rated for kitchen use. If you douse a grease fire with water you just went from bad to worse. This should be checked annually and replaced if needed.

GFI plugs - at least one per circuit (or according to your building code) in any area where water and electricity could a kitchen or a bathroom. Test these once a month to make sure they are working by tripping the recepticle with the test button.

Escape ladder - if you have second floor bedrooms, get those escape ladders that roll up and fasten to the sill for each bedroom. If there is a fire in the stairway and you don't have a fire escape (which most houses don't) these simple inexpensive ladders could save you or a loved one from a painful death.

Have a plan - go over escape routes with your family. Make sure they know what to do and where to go in an emergency. Go over this plan and practice it with your family...make SURE everyone understands it to the letter.

Practice and teach - make sure everyone knows how to operate, test and maintain all of the safety equipment I have just listed.

Maintain! This is key!!! A smoke detector with a dead battery is useless.

Go over your plan regularly....BE PREPARED!

...that is all.

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  1. OBJECTION! A smoke detector without a battery is NOT useless. It has many uses. Paper weight and coaster being chief among them, short-range frisbee as well. Otherwise, great post.

    Can I just add: though it doesn't seem like a safety issue, keep a 3-7 day supply of food (preferably food that doesn't require cooking or refrigeration) & water and some spare blankets on hand for everyone in your household.

    When I lived in NC in 2002, we had an 11 day power outage in February due to an ice storm. There were no hotel rooms to be had, the grocery store was out of everything useful, most gas stations were out of gas, and it was 27 degrees INSIDE my apartment. Our pantry and our freezer were both full of food but we had no way to cook (we couldn't even get propane for the grill). We were never in any REAL danger of starvation or hypothermia, but the lack of food and warmth became a safety concern VERY quickly. In fact this experience is one of the things that got me interested in survival and preparedness to begin with.

  2. Don't forget the NOAA weather alert radio.

  3. Flea,

    Good information and advice. The emergency response plan is, as you said, super important. What's important is that everyone know what their responsibilities are, and act accordingly. Cover basic contingencies that might arise, for instance: Mom and Dad are downstairs, Kids are upstairs, what do you do? and vice-versa. Just the basic options or permutations of a situation.

    And physically go through your plan! All talk and no action, will result in a fiasco. If you are using ladders off a second floor, everyone should do it. Taking safety precautions of course.

    Best Wishes!
    The Rasch Outdoor Chronicles.
    The Range Reviews: Tactical.
    Proud Member of Outdoor Bloggers Summit.

  4. Once again, Flea, you bring up an issue I think we have a tendency to overlook. Doing practice runs with any plan, safty or bug-out or get home...this is very important. If young children are involved, make it like a game and they will remember it better!

    Great post!

  5. James,

    I keep MRE's on hand for just that purpose!


    Good suggestion, knowing WHEN a disaster could help might be nice ;)


    Well said...practice makes perfect!


    Thanks for your kind words!


  6. We did pretty good with this list.We have some things not on your list but still need to get and escape ladder though.