Home Safety Precautions Every Family Should Take
Your home is your sanctuary. Your retreat. The place where you and your family should feel the safest. But in order to feel completely safe in your manufactured home, there are some simple safety precautions you should consider in order to ensure your family’s safety at home. Here are seven tips for increasing your home safety:
1. FIRE SAFETY
Fire safety is a major concern of home owners. There are some simple precautions you can take to make your home safer from fire and smoke hazards.
Do not leave candles on while you are not at home.
If you are burning candles for fragrance, check on them periodically.
Most fires are started by stoves, so don’t leave something cooking on the stove unattended. Use a kitchen alarm to remind you if you are cooking something in the oven.
Clothes dryers are the cause of thousands of fires per year; make sure the clothes dryer is properly vented to the outside, and remove lint from the lint catcher routinely.
Properly installed smoke alarms are extremely important tools to keep your family safe from fire hazards. The area where fires are most likely to break out is the kitchen. Consider installing a smoke alarm near the kitchen area, and outside bedroom doors. Check the alarms regularly. Pick one date each year to change all the batteries in the smoke alarms.
If you have gas logs or other gas appliances, install a carbon monoxide detector as well; check it yearly and change batteries regularly.
Keep a fire extinguisher within easy access. Ensure that family members understand how to operate it.
Plan a family evacuation route and make sure every family member understands how to evacuate the home in case of an emergency and where to gather outside in the event of a fire. Practice this evacuation routine.
2. HOME SECURITY
Your family’s safety from theft and burglary attempts is always a primary concern. Here are some simple precautions you can take to protect your home:
install a dead bolt lock on entrance doors;
windows should be shut and locked at night and when you are not at home;
consider having a home security system installed: A monitored security system can give great peace of mind and can even be designed to automatically notify the monitoring company if smoke is detected at the residence;
install an outdoor light that is controlled by an infrared motion sensor;
keep bushes trimmed back so as to not allow places for burglars to hide; never leave ladders in close proximity to your home, and
stay alert; if you observe any unusual activity that may indicate your home is being ‘cased’ by burglars, contact your local police department. Stay in touch with your neighbors and consider starting a neighborhood watch group.
There are over two million cases of suspected poisoning called in to poison control yearly; it is a major safety concern, especially for families with young children. Make sure you have the telephone number for poison control (1-800-222-1222) posted in a prominent location beside your telephone.
Place all medications out of the reach and eyesight of children. Make sure safety caps are secure.
Secure all cleaning supplies from the reach of young children. Install child locks on cabinets or place cleaning supplies out of reach. Simple items such as laundry detergent and bleach can also cause severe illness. Secure these items as well.
4. BE PREPARED FOR SEVERE WEATHER
If your area is going to be hit by severe weather, emergency experts suggest having enough supplies on hand to survive for a 72 hour period, the anticipated length of time it would take for emergency power to be restored or for roadways to be cleared to allow evacuation.
It is advisable to have emergency supplies already gathered in one location for just such a situation. Here you can maintain a supply of emergency supplies such as candles, matches, battery-operated weather radio, a landline telephone and flashlights with extra batteries.
Clean water is extremely important. Store at least one gallon of water per person per day.
You will also want to have a small stock of food that does not require cooking in order to eat, such as canned tuna, Vienna sausages, beef jerky, protein bars, peanut butter and crackers. If you have a way to heat food in case of loss of power, such as a camping stove, you could also stock up easily-heated foods such as canned beef, soups and stews. Make sure you store a manual can opener in this location.
5. FIRST AID
Maintain a proper first aid kit and make sure every family member knows where it is. The basic first aid kit should include an ample supply of antibiotic ointment, band aids, gauze pads and medical tape. A couple of instant cold compresses are very helpful for reducing swelling in case of sprained ankle-type injuries. You may also want to keep Benadryl on hand in case of an allergic reaction.
6. TORNADO SAFETY
The National Weather Service has released statistics revealing that one half of all deaths from tornado activity involved people who were inside their mobile/manufactured home. Manufactured homes are lightweight in comparison to typical brick-and-mortar homes. If you are at home when a tornado warning is issued, evacuate from your home immediately and get to a safer structure until the danger has passed.
7. EMERGENCY EVACUATION
In case of severe weather, you may need to evacuate your residence for several days at a time. You may evacuate to stay with family members, or you may even have to evacuate to an emergency shelter. For such situations, it is advisable to keep a prepacked bag of supplies ready to take for each family member, commonly called a 72 hour kit. Here are some suggested contents:
important documents such as a personal property inventory list, copies of identification cards, insurance information, important telephone numbers and some cash;
several days of any medication a family member is required to take on a daily basis, as well as a copy of the original prescription and physician’s contact information;
spare clothing, including rain coat or winter coat, depending upon weather conditions; for infants, be sure to take diapers, wipes, formula and bottles;
for young children, a small comfort item such as a small stuffed animal would be of great comfort in case of an emergency evacuation;
flashlights, portable radio, and
emergency blanket, bottle of water, protein bars or crackers.
These suggestions are all considerations for you to make as you determine what steps you can take to ensure your family’s safety. It is better to be prepared for emergencies that may not happen than to not be prepared at all.