When it comes to home security, preparedness is everything. Burglaries, accidents, floods, fires, and many other home risks are avoidable with the right emergency gear and safeguards. In fact, about 87 percent of burglaries are preventable with a home security system, while the vast majority of residential fires could have been prevented with the right alarms and safety equipment in place. The good news is it’s fairly easy to equip your home so that it’s safer and less vulnerable to these kinds of situations. A few affordable investments will help you keep things safe and sound.
The following home safety checklist is a great resource to have on hand to make your home as prepared as possible for all sorts of emergencies.
✔ Personal Protection — Having a weapon in your house may be a good option for your home security strategy. Of course, the goal is to never have to actually use said weapon, but having it properly stored in a secure but accessible gun safe is a solid backup plan for many homeowners. Do not store a weapon in your home without taking the proper firearms safety classes and learning how to handle it.
✔ A Security System — It’s true that burglars are less likely to break into a home if they know there’s an active security system installed, and homes without security systems are about three times more likely to be robbed . Indeed, it can be well worth your while to invest in a security rig that works for your home.
✔ Window Guards — Many home security systems come with window and door sensors that trip the alarm if tampered with. To double-down on the low-tech security, consider installing window security bars on any low-level windows.
✔ Emergency Lighting — Make sure your preparedness kit is stocked with emergency lights with reusable batteries. You definitely want to invest in a tactical flashlight as well as battery-operated lanterns in case the power goes out.
✔ Fire Extinguishers — Equipping your home with a portable fire extinguisher can help prevent small kitchen and fireplace fires from turning deadly. Not only should you invest in a residential extinguisher, but you should also make sure you know how to use it properly in the event of an emergency.
✔ A Deadbolt — As basic as it sounds, locks are still a core part of a good home security setup. Despite this, in some parts of the country, over 40 percent of people don’t bother locking it at all. Boost your lock strategy with a bump-proof deadbolt—and lock it!
✔ Smoke and CO Alarms — A safe home is a home that’s equipped with up-to-date, working smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors. These crucial pieces of equipment detect harmful gas and CO before they’re a problem and are key to your prevention-based security strategy.
✔ A First-Aid Kit — Unfortunately, there are some emergency situations where you won’t be able to get yourself or your family member to medical care in a timely enough fashion. Be sure you have a very well-equipped first-aid kit, either pre-bundled or homemade, in your safety plan. We recommend the Adventure Medical Family First Aid Kit for your home of up to four people.
✔ Emergency Numbers — As you know, time is precious in life and death circumstances, and you can’t risk wasting even a single second when someone is sick or injured. Be sure to post numbers for local emergency lines—poison control, the animal hospital, etc.—somewhere easily accessible and visible.
✔ Poison Control — There are over 2.12 million human poison exposures per year, according to the National Capital Poison Center. Many of these cases occurred as a result of exposure to common household products containing poisons. Be sure to have a poison control plan in place to prevent such incidents.
✔ An Escape Plan — You should always have a clearly laid-out evacuation plan and easily accessible exits throughout your home in the event that emergency escape is needed. Go over your escape plan with the whole family and practice with the occasional drill.
✔ A Rescue Ladder — Consider a rescue ladder an integral part of your escape plan. You can purchase residential rescue ladders from as low as $40, so it may make sense for you to have one on each floor of your home, including the second floor and attic.
✔ A Generator — We’re not suggesting that you shell out thousands for a massive standby generator, but it is a good idea to have at least a small backup system on hand. This is crucial for any household with people who rely on electronic medical equipment and devices.
✔ Locked Storage— Anything you store outside could attract thieves or be used as break-in aids. For example, your outdoor furniture could be used as a stool to reach a high-up window. Make sure you put any outdoor items into a locked storage environment, such as a shed, every night and when you’re away from home.
Another important thing to add to your home safety checklist: a commitment to calm. As hard as it is, it’s vital that we remain calm in the event of an emergency in order to determine the best way to handle the situation. Though time may be of the essence, mistakes can be life-threatening, so it’s a good idea to take a few deep breaths and formulate a plan. As long as you follow these home safety tips and try to maintain a calm, clear-headed demeanor in the event of an emergency, you’re likely to come out of any situation in good shape.