We often think that are our home is the safest place in the world. But that’s not always the case, as many accidents and even break-ins can catch us unprepared at home. Fortunately, the benefits of living in a house or apartment far outweigh whatever incidentals that may come with it. Even better, there are ways to drastically reduce these risks and make your home a much safer place for yourself and your family and friends. These are the 16 best home safety tips that you can start to implement right now.
Personal Safety Inside the House
Tip #1 Foster safety and security awareness among your family members.
It is important to make security and safety as a top-of-mind priority within the family members. It doesn’t have to be sensational or fear-inspiring, it just has to be part of the family’s awareness. Dad has to understand that having fun and living the life is as important as being safety conscious and being wise in terms of security. This could save the family from unfortunate incidents and unwanted accidents that in the first place could have been prevented otherwise.
Tip #2 Keep Organized with Objects and Toys inside the House
Keeping house is equal to keeping safe from inside-the-house-accidents. Avoid clutter by removing any obstacle in front of the main door whether you find it on the floor from the inside or the outside of the house. Pick up toys that are lying around the corridors and pathways inside the house and remove objects that are on stairways, as well as on the living room floor. Use tables and chairs with rounded edges to avoid bumping into them and injuring yourself.
In the bathroom:
Do keep the floor dry whenever possible. Install non-slip bathroom mats on the floor to avoid slippage. Do not keep any electrical appliance near the bathtub, (hairdryer, phone charger, small tv, etc.) with no exceptions. It is because when electricity comes in contact with water, it doubles its power and burn hazard, and most of the time it is fatal.
In the bedroom:
Install a low energy bedroom light that you can keep lighted for the whole night. This is to avoid fumbling in the dark. Additionally, make sure all of your windows are closed and locked before going to sleep. Do use precaution when using candles ( scented or otherwise) in the bedroom. Put the candles in containers that will allow it to burn itself out without any contact to any of your furniture that might cause a fire. Keep flame away from drapes and try to avoid smoking in the bedroom. If you must smoke, then at least have an ashtray handy.
Tip #3 Take care of utility cords
Make sure to unplug appliances when not in use or when getting out of the house. Keep utility cords neatly rolled up when not on use and avoid contact with water to prevent electrocution. When cords are plugged in, make sure it is not in the way of people moving around the house so that no one will trip on them.
Tip #4 Keep Closet and Cupboard Doors Closed
Part of keeping your house tidy is to keep the small and the big doors closed. Cupboards and cabinets should be kept closed, and that goes for that door underneath the staircase where you keep your mops and vacuum cleaner. These edges of these doors can become dangerous especially when a little boy zipping around the house in his imaginary warp speed spaceship makes a sudden turn.
Tip #5 Designate proper storage space for hazardous chemicals
Flammable chemicals like butane canisters, industrial-grade cleaning agents, flammable paint and other chemical household products, should be neatly stored away where children can’t reach them. If you have small children in the house, you would prefer to keep these items under a small lock to prevent the kids from accidentally getting to it and playing with it.
Tip#6 Kitchen and Fire Safety
One of the most destructive events that can happen to any household is the potential of a house fire. This is especially true of houses made entirely of wood. Although advances in fire retardant technology have mitigated the risk, it is imperative that everyone take the necessary steps to prevent and stop fire just in case it happens.
The kitchen is one of the most crucial parts of the house when it comes to fire safety. Do not leave your cooking unattended. Avoid putting flammables such as an aerosol canister anywhere near the stovetop. Keep the kitchen clean and orderly by wiping up grease and removing clutter.
Avoid wearing too loose clothes that might catch fire while you are cooking. Make sure to have a fire extinguisher available for any kind of fire emergency. Whether big or small, never underestimate how quickly a fire can spread. Because once it gets roaring it takes only seconds for everything to catch fire too. A well-ventilated kitchen is ideal, while a cramped one can increase the chances of spark.
Learn more: How to prevent kitchen fires
Tip #7 Electrical Wiring
Ensure that your electrical wiring is professionally installed and maintained. Although technological advances in wiring systems have reduced the risk of fire, there is still a chance that faulty wiring might cause one. Get rid of old broken appliances that become too hot after using it. And if you see any damaged wiring or cord, make sure to cover it temporarily and discontinue use until your electrician has arrived. Do not overload your electrical outlets with appliances to avoid short-circuiting them.
Tip #8 Garage and Fire Safety
Be sure to keep your garage organized and uncluttered. Keep sharp tools and other equipment properly stored sideways to the wall. This is to avoid having sharp edges sticking out at odd waist-level angles. Flammable liquids like kerosene, gasoline, and other toxic chemicals should be stored in containers that are airtight.
Moreover, to avoid accidental carbon monoxide poisoning, do not run your vehicle on idle inside the garage. Makes sure that you have ample ventilation in the garage by opening windows and possibly the garage door itself. If you prefer to work with the door closed, install a ventilator shaft with a fan to keep well ventilated. This is to prevent fire and other hazardous chemical fumes that might be present.
Tip #9 Yard and Fire Safety
Installing a picket fence would be an ideal solution to keep out other dogs and small animals out of your property. A low profiled fence might not be much of a barrier but it is also a visual cue for non-occupants to keep out of the property. Keep your yard neatly trimmed and clutter-free. Sweep away and properly dispose of dried grass clippings and other flammable wastes on your lawn. Pick up big and small toys that might be littered around as well.
Tip# 10 Invest in Smoke Detectors all over the House
Advances in technology have already made it cheaper to acquire home fire systems. Install smoke detectors and fire alarms all over the house as it would make a lot of sense to make a little investment for the protection of your property and precious loved ones.
Tip #11 Prevent and Report Break-ins and Burglary
Firsthand, if you suspect and see evidence of a break-in, call 911 immediately. Secondly, if you can afford it you might want to consider getting a home security system. An established and reliable home security company could do wonders for you and your peace of mind when it comes to feeling confident and secured while living in your own house. Furthermore, if your company offers it, have motion detection lights installed in various sections outside of your house. Place them in places where it is dark and where a potential burglar might scout or hide.
Check out our Top 43 home security tips against burglars
Tip#12 Protect the View from Inside Your House
Install curtains and blinds on your windows to obscure the view from the outside looking in. Burglars are more inclined to commit a crime of breaking in when they see the prize from the outside. Make it impossible for any intruder to make an assessment from the outside of any valuables inside your house. Whenever possible, your own view from the inside looking out should not be impeded. In this way, you would have a vantage point compared to a burglar who is trying to assess the inside of your house.
Tip #13 Ensure Working Locks for all Exterior Doors
Use deadbolt locks for all your doors that open to the outside. Deadbolt locks are a deterrent to burglars because it is lockpick resistant and impervious to any manual manipulation on the outside. This is made possible by its design of no handle and keyhole-only from the outside.
Not to say that it is invincible, however, definitely, you’d feel more secure than having a regular doorknob which can potentially be picked from the outside.
Install a peephole on the front door so that when an unexpected knock on the door comes, you can always look at who is outside before opening.
Tip# 14 Invest in a Safety Deposit Box
Keep your valuables safe from all potential theft, whether it be external or internal. An ideal type of safety deposit box is one that is either bolted or built into the wall of your house. Get one with a dial combination lock for added security.
Pro tip: Check out our recommended home safes
Tip #15 Things to do Before Leaving the House
Lock all your doors and leave some lights on. If you are going for a long vacation where no one is left at home, create a deterrent by leaving some soft music near the front door to indicate that the house is not empty. Don’t leave any kind of message on the front door indicating that you are not home, potential burglars might read it and discover that you are not around.
Put your phone ringer at its lowest setting, this is for the reason that a potential intruder might hear that no one is answering the phone. Always remember to arm your security system before leaving. Do this at all times, regardless of how long you will be gone.
If you must leave your spare key right outside your house, be sure to hide it where it is most inconspicuous. Avoid leaving your key under the doormat or on the pot. More often than not, burglars would find out. Enlist your neighbor for help instead and ask them to call you if they see anything strange in your absence. Moreover, the best thing to do is to just leave your key to your neighbor when you are planning to go on a long trip.
Learn more: How to secure a vacant house
Tip#16 Cover your Digital Footprint
In this day and age of the digital revolution, it is already possible to track you via the internet. Do not post in public your real-time whereabouts in social media, because this will potentially enable any burglar who has some hacking knowledge to know and see if anyone is home.
Never share your home address nor your schedule online. If you must share a vacation experience, it would be best to do a post-vacation story, rather than uploading in real-time. Lastly, for an ultimate safety feature, you can opt to turn off your geolocation auto locator app. Do this when you are out of the house so that no one can track you without your permission.
Learn more: Top 16 Safety Tips For The Internet
Tip #17 Be prepared for emergencies
Sometimes when severe calamity strikes, like hurricanes, floods, or an accidental house fire, you would have no choice but to jump ship like a captain would when he abandons a sinking ship. To keep your family safe an emergency exit plan would be of good order. This is particularly helpful if you have a big house and you live somewhere out midwest where hurricanes frequently occur.
In the hopes that nothing tragic happens, you might want to prepare your family by doing exit drills once in a while, to keep them up to step in an emergency situation. A small first aid kit must be ready at all times, along with some other needed supplies. This is in case a trip to the underground shelter becomes necessary.
Learn more: Essential blizzard safety tips