June is National Home Safety Month and the National Safety Council, in conjunction with partners across the country, is encouraging everyone to participate by doing their part to make their home a safer place to live.
Here are 8 things you can do this month to reduce the risk of preventable injuries and property damage.
1. Check Your Smoke Alarms
This is something you are likely to hear several times a year, but there is a reason that it comes up so often – it is important. According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, two thirds of home fire fatalities occur in homes without working smoke alarms. Check that each alarm has good batteries and that the alarm itself is in good working condition. Make sure you have enough smoke detectors to provide proper protection for all members of your family.
2. Have a Fire Drill
Your family needs to practice escaping from a home fire for the same reason that children practice evacuating their school building in the event of a fire; practice makes it easier to do what you need to during a crisis. The best way to protect your family in a fire is to make sure they know what to do and how to get out of the house.
3. Make a List of Emergency Phone Numbers
We sometimes take for granted that everyone knows what to do and who to call when there is a crisis but this isn’t always the case. Make a list of important phone numbers including the police and fire station, close family members, the poison center, neighbors, and family doctors and dentists.
4. Create a Basic Emergency Plan
Make a plan for basic emergencies that lets all family members know what to do and where to go when something happens. Your basic plan should include an outside meeting place, the location of basic emergency supplies like flashlights, and the process for shutting off utilities like water and electricity.
5. Do More than Spring Clean
Clean all lint out of your dryer and exhaust hose. Have your furnace cleaned and inspected. Get your septic system pumped.
6. Keep Things Grounded
Make sure all major appliances like refrigerators, dryers, washers, and dishwashers are grounded. Locate and test all the GFCI outlets in your house and make sure other family members know where they are. Don’t overload outlets.
7. Place Emergency Supplies Throughout the House
You don’t just need a fire extinguisher in the kitchen or near the woodstove. To be safe, put a fire extinguisher, carbon monoxide detector, flashlight, and first aid kit on each floor of the house. Make sure all family members know where these supplies are located and how to use them.
8. Eliminate or Mitigate Risky Areas
If you have a swimming pool, make sure there is a solid fence around the pool that is locked when you are not paying attention to it. If you have a hot tub, keep it covered when it is not in use. Protect your family and your neighbors by making it difficult to use these things without you being present.
- Commit a Minute: 100 Things to Make Your Home Safer (safetyathome.com)
- 5 Mistakes You Could Be Making With Your Homeowners Policy (canyonlandsagency.com)
- 5 Tips for Preventing a Homeowners Policy Loss (canyonlandsagency.com)