We all want to feel safe in our homes as well as protect our loved ones who visit. It is critical to take time to implement safety measures at your home. This is especially true when there are children in the home.
Below are some shocking home safety statistics as well as our 50 home safety tips broken into several categories. The first section of this post are tips for keeping children safe in your home. The second section of this post discusses physical safety measures that can be implemented. The third main section of the post looks at other broad safety measures to consider around the home. The last eights tips specifically discusses information relating to personal preparedness.
Three Relevant Safety Statistics Relating to Home Safety
There is an endless list of sobering safety and injury statistics. Throughout this post, there are some safety statistics mentioned as part of the tips, but here are a few eye-opening statistics gathered from credible sources relating to our categories of tips in this post.
Burglaries – There were an estimated 1.4 million burglaries that occurred in the U.S. in 2017. (FBI)
Children injured or killed in home – Approximately 12,000 children and young adults die from unintentional injuries each year. (CDC)
Home fires – There are over 350,000 home structure fires per year in the United States. (NFPA)
17 Tips for Keeping Children Safe at Home
Many of the tips in the sections that follow this one revolve around how you can protect yourself and your home from others. Children on the other hand often need protected from themselves. The following 17 tips can help protect the children in your home from being injured.
Dispose of Items that Create Hazards for Children to Eliminate Them Altogether
1. Put lighters and matches out of reach. According to the NFPA, children are often the cause of fires in the home. Discard any excessive lighters or matches. Hide any remaining lighters and matches out of reach. Do not leave candles unattended around children.
2. Dispose of unused or open chemicals. Cleaners, oils, and other chemicals that are left open on the floor of garages, in cabinets, or in the back yard can easily injure a curious child.
3. Limit the number of small objects around the house. Younger children are curious beings that like to put objects in their mouths. Dispose of any unnecessary small objects and put the remainder out of reach of children.
4. Tie up plastic bags and dispose of them promptly. Just like small objects, plastic bags are a choke hazard for children. Do not leave them around the house.
5. Eliminate or tie up the strings for your blinds. Children can easily find themselves tangle in these strings.
Secure Hazards and Lock Down Objects
6. Install a lockable fence around your pool. Hundreds of children drown in U.S. pools and hot tubs each year.
7. Make it difficult for children to make it onto elevated surfaces. If you give a kid the chance to climb a ladder, he will do it. Same goes for anything that can get him up to a higher level. Even a fall from a relatively low surface can be deadly.
8. Lock up any guns. Gun safes are the best choice for locking up guns. There are other options such as trigger lock options if there is not a gun safe in the house.
9. Lock up chemicals. Ensure all cleaners and chemicals are locked away in a shed or under the sink so children cannot access them. Cabinet locks are an easy way to secure chemicals.
11. Secure furniture and large objects such as TVs from tipping over. Injuries and fatalities due to these objects tipping over are staggering. Consider using a product such as these furniture ties to secure furniture or these TV mounts to properly secure TVs.
12. Install window guards on windows not on the first floor. Screens are not meant to hold children inside. Children can fall out of windows due to pressing the screens. Ensure whatever guards
are put into place can be removed in the event of a fire.
13. Install outlet plug covers. Outlet plug covers are a cheap way to protect children from placing their fingers or object in an electrical outlet.
14. Put edge protectors on sharp edges of furniture. Kids love to run and stumble around. Unfortunately, they are often getting bumps and bruises from running into objects in the home.
Supervise Children to Protect Them from Injury
15. Do not leave children unattended with dogs. The CDC reports that over 800,000 dog bites occur each year and over 50% of victims are children.
16. Do not leave children alone in the kitchen. Besides the sharp objects such as knives or heavy objects such as tabletop appliances, there are many other hazards that can injure a child. Stepping out of the kitchen for only a moment while making a meal can result in an injury such as burns from the stove top.
17. Do not leave children unsupervised outside. Even if you have a fenced in back yard there are many ways kids can find to injure themselves.
10 Tips for Physical Home Safety and Security Products
There are so many unique home security products out on the market today. Thanks to the internet and technology becoming less expensive, most people can handle installing many great security features in their home over the weekend with the help of Google and YouTube.
1. Install a smart doorbell. Home security options are ever-expanding. If you want to add a quick layer of protecting your home look at video doorbell option such as Ring.
2. Install locks on windows. Most widows already have locks, but if yours do not or the original locks have broken, consider using these aftermarket locks to secure your home.
3. Install a deadbolt on your doors. Are you relying on just your door knob lock to keep people out? That is a mistake, spend the time and money to get a proper deadbolt lock on your door.
4. Buy a delivery box protection system. Millions of packages are stolen each year from porches. While a doorbell security camera can help to identify the person who stole it, the camera will not prevent the theft. Products such as secure package delivery boxes can help to secure your packages.
5. Install motion activated lights. There are many different motion-activated light products to consider. These lights can deter someone from coming onto your property or alert you when someone does so.
6. Install a security system or security cameras. There are plenty of options outside of ADT and the other big companies for installing a security system. Many people install their own
security systems with products from Amazon or other online stores.
7. Add window sensors. Window sensors allow you to know when someone opens one of your windows.
8. Install a smoke alarm. This is home safety 101, but many families still do not have functioning fire alarms place where needed throughout their residence. The NFPA reports that homes without fire alarms had twice as many home fire victims.
9. Install a carbon monoxide alarm. Carbon monoxide is a silent killer. An alarm may be the only safeguard that can make the difference in saving your life when it comes to a carbon monoxide leak.
10. Place a bar or piece of wood on the track of any sliding door. Sliding doors may be easier to pick or pull open. Placing a piece of wood in the open section of the track can provide another level of security which can help prevent someone entering your home.
15 Other Safety Measures to Take Around the House That Are Not Listed Above
This last section of tips and actions do not fit under the categories above, but they are critical. Most of these items are decisions many people make that can contribute to having a bad event happen to them or not being prepared if something bad occurs.
1. For the love of everything, do not hide a spare key under the welcome mat. If you choose to hide a spare key around the house be smart about where you put it. There are many unique ways to properly hide a key as well as products that can assist you in smarter ways than hiding a key under the welcome mat.
2. Remove family stickers or other identifying information. The stick family stickers that people place on their cars let strangers know how many people are in a home as well as the dogs name. This information can be useful to someone who wants to burglarize a home.
3. Do not put empty boxes of expensive products outside your house. These boxes give thieves tips of what can be found in the house.
4. Hide valuables. Do not leave valuables in plain sight at any time.
5. Limit what information you put on Facebook. Letting your family know you are going on vacation on Facebook may seem like a harmless action, but you could also be letting a would-be burglar know that you will be leaving town as well.
6. Do not allow mail to pile up when your away. Just like letting everyone know you are going on vacation on Facebook, letting your stack of mail grow can signal that you are not home.
7. Do not leave valuables in your car. Do not give someone a reason to break into your car and maybe even give them a reason to also check out what is in your house.
8. Do not allow anyone to make spare keys to your home. Leaving a spare for a maintenance worker or someone else who you do not know
9. Keep an emergency kit in the house. Emergency kits have varying content, but having one ready to go can be critical. A quick Google search will bring an endless amount of options to choose
10. Invest in a generator. Generators can be a literal lifesaver when the power goes out for an extended period of time. Talk to a professional to understand what type of generator you may
need and what its limits are.
11. Keep a fire extinguisher in your house. Fires can happen anywhere in the house, but often start in the kitchen. Make sure to have at least a 2.5lb ABC fire extinguisher if not something larger such as a 5lb ABC extinguisher. Make sure you understand the PASS method to use one correctly.
12. Add fake safety signage, stickers, or even fake cameras around the house. If you do not want to invest in a real security camera or alarm system at least consider buying stickers and signs saying you have one. There are even many inexpensive options for fake cameras on the market today.
13. Do not let others know what prescription drugs individuals may have in your household. Sounds silly right? Why would you do such a thing? But the reality is telling people your wife just got her wisdom teeth out may lead the wrong person wanting to come into your home to get access to the pain pills he was probably prescribed. Many people are suffering from the opioid epidemic, probably even a few people you know and just do not realize it.
14. Do not leave your garage door open. Doing so makes it easy for would be thieves to see what is in the garage as well as makes it quick to slip in and out.
15. Have your water tested. Do you know where your water comes from? If it is well water, when was the last time it was tested? If it is city water do you know where to find the test result
information for the water that you are consuming?
8 Personal Preparedness Tips and Actions to Consider
The products, services, and actions listed above are great for making your home secure, protecting property, and protecting life. That being said, there are other actions you can take today to help to ensure you and your family have the knowledge and skills to be prepared. Below are eight personal preparedness tips to take.
1. Join your local neighborhood watch group. These groups can succeed in protecting the community if more individuals are active in them.
2. Report any suspicious activity. Speak up when you see something that does not look right to you. Talk with neighbors or the police when you see something that is not a normal sight to see in your neighborhood.
3. Stay on top of the latest trends when it comes to home safety and personal safety. Unfortunately, there are new ways and schemes being thought of everyday to hurt or take from innocent
people. Check out this website to see reports of new trends.
4. Take a first aid and CPR class. The unfortunate reality is, emergencies are going to happen throughout life. The only thing worse than someone you love needing help is not knowing how to help them. Organizations like the Red Cross have training classes all across the country that can help prepare you for some of the most common emergencies.
5. Have a plan. Have a plan and train your family on it when it comes to responding to an emergency. Different emergencies warrant different plans. Events such as tornadoes, hurricanes, fire, break-ins, etc. should all have their own plan prepped in case your family needs to respond. Check out this resource from the NFPA in creating a home fire escape plan.
6. Understand your town’s emergency action plans. Towns and cities have their own emergency action plans for responding to emergencies. Contact your local police station or browse your town’s website to find out more about what plans are in place for emergency events such as a hurricane or blizzard.
7. Educate your children on other safety information. Take some of these other tips and share them with your children to keep them safe. Sharing information allows them to better understand why you are doing certain things around the house.
8. Educate your neighbors on some of this information. If your neighbors are making poor choices when it comes to safety it can also affect your home and family at some point in the near future.
What to Take Away From this Information
It was a bummer to write out a lot of this content, and I am sure it does not make you feel great either. That being said, most of these safety measures can be completed within a single weekend. Do not live in fear of all the possible negative things that can happen in your life. Instead, take action to eliminate hazards as well as action to prepare yourself in the case of an emergency.