It starts with a feeling that maybe you should pay more attention to your home's safety. It escalates until you find yourself looking up home safety tips. And then it ends with you doing nothing, thinking you'll get to it another time.

house in ruins

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Guess what?

That's when disaster strikes.

There's never a wrong time to consider home safety. You don't even need a lot of money to prepare your home. It's more about planning than anything.

And get this, you probably already have a lot of what you need laying around your home.

That's actually a problem in and of itself. You see, a big part of home safety is keeping a tidy home, especially in the garage and basement. The more stuff you have lying about, the higher the risk of fire.

And let's be honest, fire is the leading danger to every home on the planet.

Do you know what's sad? Most fires are entirely preventable.

That's right.

Like car accidents, fires can mostly be avoided with some simple safety precautions.

So what are you waiting for?

Why Home Safety Matters

wreckage

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Don't you hate it when you're heading to the washroom late at night, and you stub your toe on something?


We all do it.


But why? After all, this is a relatively simple home safety issue to resolve. You do it by judging the most traveled pathways throughout your home, and then ensure they're unobstructed. Does that little table with the plant on it really need to be there?


Of course, stubbing your toe at night is a minor safety issue, but what if your house is filling with smoke because of a fire? All of a sudden that object you keep stubbing your toe on becomes a life-threatening obstruction.


Do you see where this is going?


Home safety matters because it can mean the difference between surviving a disaster or losing someone in your family. We think to ourselves "That can't happen, this is a safe first-world country."


Think again.


In the U.S. there are more than 350,000 house fires per year, and nearly 3,000 people lose their lives to home fires. That's a 10-percent mortality rate!


Do you think any of those people were different from you?

In 2018, there were 28,300 injuries caused by falling bookcases and shelves, including the deaths of 543 children. Simply anchoring the bookcase to the wall with a screw would have prevented almost every single one of those. That's why home safety tips matter.


Here are some of the most important things to look out for.

Dangers Around The home

The best home safety tips need to deal with what's in your home. Unless you live in a single room with padded walls, your home is potentially dangerous.


Take the stairs, for example.


They're the leading cause of injury and death in children and the elderly. They're also the number one reason homeowners get sued by visitors who injure themselves. So yeah, your stairs are dangerous.


Home safety tips need to consider stairs.


We already discussed bookcases and shelving, but here's another danger in your home: Your windows.


You heard that right. Windows are a leading ​​cause of falling injuries for adults and children alike and in strangely equal numbers.


Have you ever stood on a kitchen chair while trying to hang curtains? A lot of people do that. Also, a lot of people fall through their window as a result.


Here are some more dangers around the home to look out for:

  • Stairway banisters
  • Cooking ranges
  • Doors
  • Laundry dryer
  • Hot air vents
  • Furnace/water heater

Medical Emergencies

ambulance

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So you've identified all the potential dangers around your home, but some things are not in our control, such as medical emergencies.


Seizures, heart attacks, asthma attacks, dislocations, and other medical emergencies can happen to anybody at any time.


Is your home ready to deal with something like this if it happens?


Take, for example, the case of Ed Dental, a 46-year-old man who was sitting home alone in Richmond, Virginia, when he had a heart attack.


Only, he didn't know it was a heart attack. He felt ill and uncomfortable, and his heart was beating irregularly.


Nobody else was with him. He would have died, had it not been for his Apple Watch, which alerted him that he was suffering a serious heart attack.


How is your home set up for medical emergencies?

Here are the main reasons medical emergencies turn into medical disasters in the home.

  • No telephone in easy reach
  • First responders can't see your house number
  • Too much clutter for First Responders to easily get to you
  • Nobody can hear you

Fire

fire

Image via flickr

You already knew that fire is the number one threat to homes around the world. Unlike medical emergencies, fires are easy to avoid. But most people don't do anything to avoid them. They don't change the batteries on their smoke detectors or keep a fire extinguisher handy.


Look around your own home.


Is there furniture, carpeting, or other things covering air vents?


If you have a ton of stuff piled up in your basement or garage, that's a huge fire hazard. Leaves and cut grass around the outside of your home can trigger a major house fire.


Remember that fire needs stuff to burn, so the general rule of thumb with house fires is that the more stuff there is, the greater the risk of a fire.

Here are some other common causes of house fires:

  • Faulty wiring
  • Overloaded electrical outlets
  • Phones and laptops under pillows
  • General clutter
  • Piles of clothing on the floor or near a heat vent

Severe Weather

clouds

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Since 1980, the US has spent over $1.5 trillion in damages caused by severe weather. 2017 was the single most destructive year in American weather history, with a major hurricane battering the east coast, and 218 other major weather events.


Whether damage was caused by hurricanes, tornados, hail, snow, floods, mudslides, or other natural events doesn't matter.


The fact of the matter is that when a severe weather event happens, your home is at risk, which means you and your family are at risk.


We're not talking about property damage. That's just stuff that can be replaced, and insurance is good for that. Instead, we're talking about a threat to your life and the lives of your family.


You can't replace those.


Most homes aren't ready for severe weather, and that's dangerous.


Do you have a tornado-fortified basement or shelter if you live in the midwest? Do you have an evacuation plan and a place to go in case of a hurricane if you live on the east coast? And if you live on the west coast, in many areas you'll need to make sure your home can withstand an earthquake.


Here are other things most people neglect:

  • Reinforced roofing in winter-prone areas
  • Functioning sump-pump in the basement floor
  • Heavy curtains in tornado-prone areas
  • Fire extinguishers on every level
  • Central air and heat

Crime

crime scene

Image via flickr

Finally, one of the least likely causes of danger to you in your home comes from a completely random source.


The fact is that the VAST majority of crime is non-violent, so we're not going to spend too much time wringing our hands over it. After all, if someone wants to rob your home, they'll prefer to do it when you're not home.


That being said, there are some dangerous people out there, and there are ways you can make your home less attractive to them. You see, almost all criminals prefer an easy target. So homes with big, open windows where everyone can look in are more likely to be hit than homes that are locked down.


Homes with trimmed bushes and good sight lines are less likely to be chosen than those without.

And of course, criminals love operating in the dark, so homes with no lights on are tempting targets.


Here are some more things criminals look for:

  • Unlocked doors
  • No dogs
  • Lack of home securit
  • Signs nobody is home
  • Social media posts that the family is on vacation

Have A Plan

By now you're probably wondering what the heck you're supposed to do to prevent all of these horrible things from happening.


Don't worry. You can't stop every bad thing from occurring, but you can have a plan for when they do.


Remember, the most important thing is to get you and your loved ones out alive. Nothing else matters.


So whether it's a fire, a tornado, or a break-in, you need a plan to make sure your family is safe. And another thing: it doesn't matter how many

Marvel series you've watched on Netflix, you're not a superhero.

Instead, have a plan in place for various scenarios, and practice them with your family. The most common thing is to plan for a fire. Plan your escape routes, and always keep those unblocked and uncluttered.


Another big one to plan for is a medical emergency.


Where are the phones? Who to call?


Your kids need to know how to dial 911 and how to relay your address.

Finally, make a severe weather plan. How you do it will depend on the type of weather you're likely to experience.


For instance, if you live in Michigan, you'll want to make sure you have something in place in case the power is off for a while in the middle of winter.


You'll need candles, emergency food and water, and warm blankets for everyone in the house.

Train Your family

man training children

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Once you've got a plan hammered out, you need to make sure everyone in your family knows what to do.


Basically, you need to practice your plans with your entire family. This is actually a lot of fun for kids. If your family did this when you were growing up, then you'll know how fun it is.


Teach your kids to crawl out of your home in a fire, and not to be afraid of the fire alarms.


Here's another thing.


Everyone in your family should know what to do in case of a tornado, or an earthquake.


And if you need to evacuate, then everyone should have an assigned task:

  • One person grabs the go bag and bottled water
  • Another person grabs extra clothing and some blankets for everyone
  • One person gets the car ready

Double up tasks if you don't have enough people, but whatever you do, practice it over and over again.

It's worth it.

Prepare A "Go" kit

duffle bag

Image via flickr

Think about this for a moment. You need to escape your home quickly. Who knows, maybe there's a tsunami on the way. What do you bring?


Well, instead of trying to figure that out at the moment, have a duffle bag (or a gym bag) packed and ready to go. Your Go kit contains essentials to get you and your family through a couple of days.


Here's what to put in it:

Food

  • Three cans of tuna
  • One jar of peanut butter
  • Three boxes of granola bars
  • Several disposable apple sauce snacks
  • One bottle of water per person

Utility

  • One small bottle of bleach
  • Light-anywhere matches
  • Three boxes of granola bars
  • Flashlight
  • Swiss army knife
  • Can opener
  • Duct tape
  • Plastic baggies (for important documents)
  • Solar charger

Survival

  • One blanket for each person
  • One pair of socks for each person
  • One extra t-shirt for each person
  • Tent

First Aid

  • Box of bandages
  • Splint
  • One extra t-shirt for each person
  • Tweezers
  • Scissors
  • Adhesive tape
  • Gauze
  • Women's sanitary pads
  • Antibiotic

Once you've got all of that in your Go kit, there's one essential piece of advice to remember.

Don't use any of it!

Seriously. If you run out of tuna or bandages, get to the store and buy them new. Leave your go kit alone.



Stock up


Finally, there's one more thing you can do to prepare for an emergency. When it comes to home safety tips, stocking up on emergency supplies is probably the easiest thing you can do.


So, what exactly counts as emergency supplies?


For starters, first aid supplies are a great thing to have on hand. Always make sure you have plenty of bandaids, gauze, tensor bandages, and other basics on hand.


But you know what else?


Non-perishable food. We're talking about cans of veggies, fruits, tuna, ham, noodles, and anything else that will last a long time without a refrigerator.


That's because when the power goes out and stays out, you'll still need to feed your family.


Some supplies that people often forget to stock up on include the following:

  • Toilet paper
  • Feminine supplies
  • Diapers (if you have a baby at home)
  • Pet food
  • Socks
  • Candles
  • Gasoline

10 Home Safety Tips You Probably Never Thought Of

You've probably heard the most common home safety tips before.


You know the ones. Make sure you change your smoke detector batteries regularly. Don't overload electrical sockets. Don't leave the oven on unattended.


These are all great home safety tips. You should definitely be following them.


But there are a lot more home safety tips that you should probably be aware of, as well.


It's hard managing a home. We get it. But at the end of the day, what's more important, extra free time or the well-being of you and your loved ones?


That's why you should always take home safety tips with seriousness.

You know the old saying. Better safe than sorry. That applies to your family more than anything else.


So let's get to it.

Tip 1

Tip 2

Tip 3

Tip 4

Tip 5

Tip 6

Tip 7

Tip 8

Tip 9

Tip 10

Act Now

Using these home safety tips, you should get out there and start making your home safe for your family.


You know that you need to minimize the risk of fire, prepare for emergencies with a go kit, make your house less inviting for criminals, and keep your home clutter-free.


So, what are you waiting for?


If you found these home safety tips useful, or you have some home safety tips of your own to add, leave us a comment!

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