Your week is crammed from morning till night and your weekends are spent running errands and playing catch-up. Sound familiar? Life is busy and with a never-ending to-do list, it’s easy to overlook things that require planning. Unfortunately that can mean danger for your family without a home safety checklist and emergency preparedness. We’ve got you covered! Complete our home safety checklist below to help your family be safer and put together your emergency plan.
Home Safety Plan Checklist
Establish a Family Emergency Plan
Does your family know what to do if an emergency happens? A good family emergency plan covers those situations likeliest to occur in your area—such as fires, earthquakes, hurricanes and power outages—and includes:
● A family member or friend to serve as an out-of-area contact
● A meeting place directly outside your home, as well as one outside your neighborhood in case you are separated
● Directions on taking shelter both inside and outside your home during and immediately after an emergency
● Two escape routes for use during a fire, flood or earthquake
Check Your Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Detectors
Make sure you have monitored smoke and carbon detectors that can turn off appliances that will circulate smoke and send signals for ADT to notify first responders of a fire if necessary. Every state requires smoke detectors inside homes, and the majority of states require carbon monoxide detectors, as well.
But just having these essential items isn't enough to cross them off your household safety checklist: you need to also check them regularly to be sure that they are in proper working condition. Smoke alarms should be tested regularly. Change the batteries in your smoke alarms annually, or whenever a low-battery alarm sounds.
Buy a fire extinguisher
One of the most important items on your home safety checklist is buying—and knowing how to use—a fire extinguisher. According to the U.S. Fire Administration, slightly more than 50 percent of all house fires begin in the kitchen, so at a minimum, you need a fire extinguisher within quick reach of your stove.1 And if your home has more than one story, each level should have a fire extinguisher of its own.
Install a Smart Home Security System
A safe home is a happy home. That's why there's so much peace of mind to be found when your family and your belongings are protected by a monitored smart home security system that notifies you of any potential problems around your property, as well as alerting first responders in case of an emergency, if necessary.
Your Water Heater Needs a Safety Check
A hot shower feels good after a long day, but water that's too hot is dangerous. The Burn Foundation reports that a water temperature of 140 degrees is enough to cause third-degree burns, and scalding tap water is to blame for 17% of childhood burn hospitalizations. 2 No household safety checklist is complete without an inspection of your hot water heater, particularly if your family includes children or elderly members. For safety, your water heater should be set to a maximum of 120 degrees. 3
Using these tips and your home safety checklist will help you and your family have peace of mind and help keep your home secure.
1. "U.S. Fire Statistics." U.S. Fire Administration. July 09, 2018. Accessed August 20, 2018. https://www.usfa.fema.gov/data/statistics/
2. "Installing and Maintaining Smoke Alarms." NFPA. Accessed August 20, 2018. https://www.nfpa.org/Public-Education/By-topic/Smoke-alarms/Installing-and-maintaining-smoke-alarms.
3. "Safety Facts on Scald Burns." The Burn Foundation - www.burnfoundation.org - Scald Burns. Accessed August 21, 2018. http://www.burnfoundation.org/programs/resource.cfm?c=1&a=3