Nobody wants to spend tons of time thinking about possible emergency situations that could arise, but as a responsible homeowner you need to consider how to prepare your domicile so that you can act quickly during an emergency, whether you fall off a ladder, you start a grease fire, or a natural disaster strikes. When these things happen you want to be prepared so that you can protect yourself and your family. So here are just a few emergency safety items that every home should have.
- Fire safety items. Most states have laws requiring smoke detectors in homes. And really, why wouldn’t you want to install these inexpensive safety devices that could save your life and the lives of your family members in the event of a fire? Of course, you should also have fire extinguishers in key areas such as the kitchen and near exits. And if you want to be well-prepared you should map out exit strategies and create a plan that includes regular fire drills for the whole family, including a place to meet once you’ve exited the building. This will help to ensure that everyone gets out safely should a fire break out in your home.
- CO sensor. Some states are starting to require homeowners to install such sensors in addition to smoke detectors. The reason is that deadly carbon monoxide gas, sometimes called the silent killer because it is colorless and odorless, is present in homes that feature gas appliances (stove, furnace, etc.) and it also comes from car exhaust. If there is a leak in your home, a sensor will set off an alarm to warn you of dangerous CO levels so that you can evacuate until the threat has passed.
- First aid kit. In the event of injury or accident you may have to administer first aid of some sort until first responders arrive on scene. This is made easier when you have a first aid kit on hand. Your kit should contain items like bandages, tape, antiseptic, styptic powder (to staunch bleeding), aspirin, a thermometer, tweezers, gloves, Ipecac, and instant cold and hot pads. You might also want to include a flashlight (and batteries), a first aid instruction booklet, and a list of important emergency phone numbers (Sherriff’s station, fire department, poison control, nurse’s hotline, etc.). Up-to-date prescription medications are also a good idea.
- Food and water. You don’t have to stockpile like it’s the end of the world, but after seeing disasters like Hurricane Katrina, the tidal wave that hit India, and the nuclear meltdown in Japan, not to mention all levels of natural disasters, you might want to have enough non-perishable food and drinking water on hand to support your family for at least a few days. If you have pets, don’t forget to add them into your calculations. And if items might need to be cooked, cans of Sterno and dry matches are also a good idea.
- Radio. Staying connected is important in emergency situations, and if there is a natural disaster, you might not have access to television, the internet, or phone service. For this reason you should probably keep a battery-powered radio on hand, not to mention plenty of suitable batteries from an outlet like BatteryWholesale.com. You might also consider a crank radio that is powered by winding it up. P.S. There are flashlights that work on the same principle.