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.
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.
Like car accidents, fires can mostly be avoided with some simple safety precautions.
So what are you waiting for?
Why Home Safety Matters
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."
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:
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.
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:
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:
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:
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
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:
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
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:
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.
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:
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.
If you've got kids or pets, and stairs, then you've got potential danger.
You can minimize this by making sure that they can't fall off the stairs. You do this by keeping the rails that support the banister less than four inches apart.
That way, nobody but the family cat is getting through there.
Here's another reason.
Even if you don't have kids, you'll minimize the likelihood of trips and falls on the stairs.
Picture this: you're carrying a basket full of laundry down the stairs. It's heavy, and blocking your view, so you don't notice when your foot accidentally snags on the rails.
You're carrying a basket and can't balance yourself, so down the stairs you go, face-first.
Don't laugh because that happens more than you think.
If your rails are less than four inches apart, that won't happen.
If you can't rebuild your banister, consider a banister rail guard.
The 4UHeart Child Safety Net easily attaches along your banister and blends into the background. It only costs between $15 and $20.
We love that Amazon customers give it 4.3 out of 5 stars, with almost everyone saying it installs easily and works well at keeping their toddlers safe. A couple of people complained that they didn't like the zip ties it comes with.
Here's one of those home safety tips that are super easy to stay on top of.
Keep clutter away from your doorways.
We're not just talking about the front door, either. You need to keep all doorways free and clear.
Bedroom doors need to be kept clear so that in the event of a late-night emergency, people aren't tripping over things or smashing their shins on furniture as they try to escape.
All doors leading outside need to be kept clear so that emergency personnel has easy access if they need it.
And get this.
If you have stuff piled up near doorways at the top of stairs, well, that's a home safety disaster waiting to happen.
To help you get organized, try ready-to-use closet shelving unit that you can pop into a closet and then fill with stuff.
The SONGMICS 3-Tier Storage Cube system is great for that, and it only costs between $15 and $30.
There weren't enough customer reviews on Amazon to get a good idea of what they thought, but one person gave it five stars and said: "Like it."
Autumn is beautiful, and who doesn't love the smell of freshly cut grass?
All those leaves and all the cut grass poses a massive fire hazard for your home.
Did you know that a quarter of all home fires begin outside, in the yard?
It shouldn't be a surprise, then, that most of those happened in the summer when it was hot and dry.
Even those horrendous California wildfires often get started by humans, thanks to piles of combustible vegetation lying around.
So after you've finished mowing your lawn, make sure to rake up all the clippings and dispose of them in a plastic bag.
Same goes for all those gorgeous autumn leaves. Once spring hits and the snow melts, get out there with your rake and dispose of them if you didn't do it in the autumn.
If you want to keep it simple, use something like the Earthwise Yard Sweeper.
This push-along machine sweeps up all the debris in its path into a nice canvas bag. Best of all, it only costs between $60 and $75.
Customers on Amazon gave it a respectable 3.5 out of 5 stars, with most saying it does the job IF you adjust the rakes to the height of your grass. A few customers complained that it didn't sweep anything up, but it sounds like they didn't adjust the rake height.
It's a question we often ask ourselves.
Why don't people make it easier to find their house?
Can you see your house number clearly in the day and at night?
If you can't, then you'll have trouble getting a pizza, because delivery drivers spend a long time going up and down streets looking for the right address.
However, you'll also have trouble getting the fire department, or the paramedics, or the police to your door.
If you have bushes or a tree growing where your address can't be seen from the street, then consider moving the numbers.
Put them on the other side of the house, or the door.
Also, make sure the numbers contrast with the color of whatever background they're hanging on.
At night, find a way to illuminate those numbers. Don't assume you can wait until there's an emergency and then turn on the outdoor lights. You don't have time in an emergency.
You can use something like the solar-powered LeiDrail Address illuminator. It costs between $30 and $50 and looks nice, too.
Customers on Amazon gave it a solid 4.1 out of 5 stars, praising how beautiful it is and that it works like a charm every time. A few people complained that the numbers themselves are stickers that you must apply to the white LED background, but how else are you going to get your customized address on there?
Are you one of those people who likes getting a glimpse inside other homes at night when you're passing by?
You know the ones. They have their house lit up and not a curtain or blind in sight. You can see their television and all their beautiful stuff.
Guess who else can see that stuff?
Thieves can see it, and you can guarantee that they've already considered their options. Is that TV worth it? Does this look like the kind of house with jewelry and electronics?
Unless you keep a bull mastiff sitting in the window, you should keep the outside from looking in at night.
Here's one of those home safety tips you can use today:
If you enjoy being able to see out, consider sheer curtains.
These will stop anyone outside from getting a clear picture of what you have inside, but allow you to see the lights and cars and trees of the great outdoors.
We like the VISIONTEX grey sheer curtains, which look sharp and have a faux-linen feel. You can buy them for between $15 and $25.
Customers on Amazon rated them 4.4 out of 5 stars, praising them for being well-made, strong, and looking nice. In fact, there was only one complaint, and the reviewer didn't leave anything constructive!
Have you ever seen a house with a metal roof?
We have, and we love it. They look sharp and give the house a bit of a youthful, modern character.
Best of all, they're completely fire-resistant, and that's one of the best home safety tips we can offer.
And you know what other home safety tips we can offer?
Get a fire-proof safe, for one.
Everyone has extremely important documents they need to keep safe. Things like birth certificates, passports, wills, and deed to property should all be protected.
A fire-proof safe keeps them secure from thieves and fires.
Best of all, they don't cost much. One example is the Amazon Basics Security Safe, which costs between $40 and $60.
It's digital, tested for durability, and can fit into a closet or on a bookshelf with ease. Customers on Amazon gave it 4.0 out of 5 stars.
One customer said she lost her house to a fire, and she posted pictures of the safe, which was damaged on the outside but everything inside was fine!
A couple of people complained that they were able to pick the locks on the safe.
The garage is one of the biggest fire dangers in your home!
And remember the golden rule of home safety tips: the more stuff, the higher the risk of fire.
People not only jam the garage full of stuff, but they also keep all their highly combustible liquids and chemicals there. What are these people thinking?
Instead, don't treat your garage like extra storage space. Get a shed and keep your yard tools there. Move boxes of toys and collectibles to the basement. Your garage should be for tools and automotive only.
If you need help, consider wall-mounted storage options.
The HORUSDY wall-mounted storage bin system is perfect for organizing your garage. It comes with colorful plastic storage bins and heavy-duty mounting slots. It costs between $40 and $50.
Customers on Amazon gave it 4.0 out of 5 stars, with many saying these are the best plastic organizers you can find at this price.
A few people complained that the bins were too small.
Remember that guy whose Apple Watch saved his life when he had a heart attack?
Well, you can make your entire home smart like that, using smart home technology.
For instance, you can get an Amazon Echo or Google Home device and program them to call 911 when you tell them to.
More importantly, you can install smart home security. There are doorbell cameras, motion-activated cameras, and alarms that you can monitor from your smartphone.
Try the Amazon Ring security system, powered by Amazon
Alexa. It has everything you need to secure your home, including cameras, motion sensors, and alarms. Best of all, you can monitor your home from your phone, so gone are the days of paying monthly fees to a security company.
It costs between $345 and $375 for the 15-piece kit.
Customers on Amazon gave it an excellent 4.5 out of 5 stars, saying the system is easy to install and works great. The only complaints were that the Ring app could use updating.
Did you know that half of all 911 calls involve a fall? And that of those falls, nearly 60 percent happen in the bathroom?
When you stop to think about it, it makes sense.
You have slippery tiles and ceramic mixed with water. That's an accident waiting to happen. Make your bathroom slip-proof, and everyone will be a lot safer.
That's one of the best home safety tips we can offer you.
Start with slip strips. Put them down in the bathtub and shower, and around the base of the sink, and near any entrances. You can use the YBLNTEK adhesive bath treads, which blend in with most bathroom colors and work exceptionally well. They cost between $8 and $12 for a pack of 24.
Customers on Amazon gave them 4.5 out of 5 stars, with most people praising that they don't stand out, yet are strong and don't peel off. There were no complaints.
This should be a no-brainer for home safety tips, yet every year more than a dozen children die from self-inflicted gunshot wounds after finding their parent's firearms.
So keep your firearms locked away.
If you're the type who sleeps with one under your pillow, but you have kids in the house, then you need to take extra precautions.
Use an Amazon Basics mounted firearm safety lock with a biometric fingerprint reader. This way you can keep your gun in a drawer near your bed, but nobody except you can get at it.
It costs between $100 and $115 and is worth every penny. This is one of the best home safety tips you can take to the bank.
Customers on Amazon gave it 4.2 out of 5 stars and were especially happy with how quickly it can unlock. The only complaints were about the cheap screws that came with it, so you might want to use your own.
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!