Home Safety: Being Prepared for Disaster


The phrase “better safe than sorry” has become so overused that its meaning is long forgotten. But when it comes to your house, it’s worthwhile pausing for a moment and reflecting as to why this message became so cliché in the first place. It’s because it’s absolutely true! With the correct prevention measures set up, you may never know what catastrophic incidents you effortlessly sidestepped, and it’s much better that way.

Form vs. Function

People spend countless hours cleaning and decorating their houses, furnishing a comfortable atmosphere which is presentable to their friends. So why do so many lack the detailed attention needed in protecting this very same environment, as well as the safety of its inhabitants? With that thought, let’s look forward at the following list of essential precautionary measures your household should already have right now.

1. Recently Tested Smoke Detectors

Certainly, everyone should find some peace as they glance up at their smoke detectors, items which perpetually sniff the air for you, ready to scream at the slightest whiff of burning trouble. But when last did you ensure these devices were in working order? The general recommendation is that you should test these lifesavers at least once a month, and furthermore, you should be replacing their batteries twice every year.

On that topic, other even more criminally overlooked accessory heroes, are the carbon monoxide detectors. Usually installed outside sleep areas, these guys monitor any invisible gasses that you cannot smell, and will wake you up if your house has reached unsafe levels of CO. Keep an eye on all of your appliances, and if this alarm sounds, open your windows, calling the fire brigade if it continues to beep.

2. Fire Extinguishers

You can never be over-prepared when it comes to arguably the most devastating enemy your household has: fire. Keep an extinguisher near every high risk area, including the kitchen and fireplace. If you already have a fire extinguisher, double check its expiry date, replace it if needs be, and occasionally test that it is still in working condition.

It is also important to establish whether you have the correct extinguishers for the job, carefully studying the label to gage its purpose (for example: what to use with electrical fires in comparison to cooking oil incidents). Thankfully, there are now various multipurpose extinguishers on the market to make your purchasing process a little simpler, so just ask a helping hand if you find yourself overwhelmed by the options.

3. First Aid Kits

Household accidents are unavoidable, but with a good first aid kit assembled to your specific circumstances, you can treat the majority of minor issues without any hassle. Feel free to collect up your own items, but with so many varied options of bandages, antiseptics, painkillers, and swabs available, most people feel much safer with a pre-packed solution. There are endless resources for choosing the best first-aid kit online, so you have no excuse to skip over this essential item.

Of course, there is still a degree of maintenance involved, and you would need to regularly check that your stock is sufficient and that nothing has passed its expiry date. However, this is a small effort to pay for the instantaneous relief of cleaning and treating wounds like a professional without having to leave the house in a panic.

4. An Evacuation Plan

How would you get out your house if the stairs were not in use? Is there a window you could climb out of? Do you have a fire ladder in this case? What if there is a power outage? Are there easy to reach torches for everyone? Are there extra batteries in case the old ones have run out? These are the potential scary scenarios one must ask themselves when formulating an evacuation procedure, eliminating the chance of confusion and hesitation.

With a bit of luck, you will never need to utilize your carefully planned escape strategy, but it is still imperative you have one. What’s more, this information needs to be studied and understood by everyone who lives under your roof. A good approach to guarantee a more successful run, is to put it in writing and pasting in a visible place your family cannot ignore, whilst encouraging a test drill once or twice a year to refresh memories.

5. An Emergency Contact List

Finally, a simple yet critical addition to your household’s well-being, is a written record of all important phone numbers. Information should include: emergency response details, cell phone numbers of all family members, doctor contacts, and even the neighbors’ digits if they will give them to you. But why stop there? By also incorporating any allergy or medical information on this list, it becomes a powerful tool for outsiders, allowing first time readers to make sense of any relevant instructions if you are currently unable to provide them.

Final Thoughts

Hopefully the above items have already been added to your immediate agenda, but always remember: there is endless room for further improvements. Keep up-to-date with the latest technologies and suggestions by regularly reading articles like this one, and sleep in peace whilst your house takes care of itself.

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