Home Safety & Security for the Whole Family
Having a safe and secure environment that you can also call home is a dream most people have. However, you and your family may not be safe inside your own home at all times due to various hazards. But this does not mean that you are powerless in preventing accidents or break ins. There are many ways to keep your home safe.
Safety in Different Areas of the Home
Accidents can happen anytime and anywhere, so making sure every room in your house is as hazard-free as it can be should be a priority. This can be a daunting task, we know. To lighten up the load, we recommend you do so by going over one room at a time.
The most common accidents that happens in the kitchen are burns and fires. To avoid falling victim to these, make sure that there are no towels or curtains in danger of coming in contact with your stovetop or other surfaces that my heat up. With a similar thought in mind, don’t cook while wearing billowy or long-sleeved clothes as they might catch fire. You should also install a smoke alarm and check the batteries regularly.
Living Room and Bedroom
Aside from the kitchen, these are the places you will be spending most of your time at home. Here, accidental falls are your primary concern. It is estimated that around 600 people die yearly from falling out of their bed. To make beds safer for vulnerable family members like children and the elderly, install rails on the open side of the bed and place anti-slip mats in strategic places in both bedrooms and the living room.
Garage and Basement
Did you know that almost $457 million worth of property is lost annually as a result of 6,600 garage fires? Do not let your home become a part of this statistic. There are many ways you can make your basement and garage safe from fires. To begin, avoid leftover gasoline, paint, and other flammable materials and chemicals inside. Keep them in a shed away from your house instead. And rather than a smoke alarm, install a heat alarm in these spaces.
For more detailed tips per room, read more from the resources below.
- eXtension: Home safety in the kitchen: Burn and fall prevention
- Sandy Spring Volunteer Fire Department: Garage and basement fire safety
- City of Elmhurst: Living room and bedroom safety
Safety for Everyone
To know what you are up against and prepare to prevent it, it is important to find out the most common causes of injuries in the home.
Poisoning: According to statistics, poisoning (through chemicals or gases) is the main cause of unintentional injury deaths across all ages. This is why it is important to invest in various detectors (especially for carbon monoxide and carbon dioxide) to avoid poisoning.
Choking: This is another top cause of unintentional injury death for people of all ages. Protect your family against it by making sure they know the proper rescue measures in an emergency.
Fires and burns: The dangerous thing about fires is that they often start when you are off guard and sleeping at night. However, it is proven that the presence of a working smoke alarm can help prevent fatalities in fires.
- Create the Good: Home safety tips and tools
- National Safety Council: Safety at home: Top causes of unintentional injury and death in homes and communities
- Rebuilding Together: Home safety checklist
Safety for Babies and Young Children
Babies and toddlers are more vulnerable to home safety hazards than adults. They require closer care and precautions to keep them out of harm’s way. Here are a few things you can easily do to protect babies and young children inside the home:
- Avoid keeping cleaning products and medicines in low cabinets or any place that children may easily reach.
- Do not overcrowd your child’s bed or crib with stuff toys and pillows as these may be a cause of suffocation.
- Never leave your toddler alone while in the bathtub.
- Make sure that your furniture and appliances are secure to avoid accidental tipping over.
- Install some safety gates in various areas of the house.
- Safe Kids Worldwide: Protecting children in your home
- American Academy of Family Physicians: Child safety: Keeping your home safe for your baby
- Kids’ Health: Household safety checklists
Safety for Children with Special Needs
If your child has a physical or developmental disability, they may be prone to more dangers in the home as they may not be aware of the possible hazards that they encounter every day. Here are some ways you can make your home safer for them:
- Avoid keeping houseplants that may be toxic when ingested.
- Cover up electric outlets to avoid accidental electrocution.
- Keep sharp kitchen tools away in cabinets instead of in countertop displays.
- Install locks on medicine cabinets and dangerous rooms in the house.
- Consider installing video monitors in your child’s room so you can keep an eye on them at all times.
- Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center: Home modifications and child safety
- Children's Hospital Los Angeles: Keeping children with special needs safe
Are you living with an elderly parent in your home? Make their stay comfortable and safe by following these tips:
- Install more lights in the home, especially in hallways leading to the bathrooms and stairs, to help an elderly family member navigate easily at night.
- Make sure that there are no loose rugs or electric cords in the common spaces of the home to avoid tripping or falling accidents.
- Equip your bathroom with handrails and anti-slip mats.
- Consider getting a care aide to assist in caring for an elderly parent.
- Valley VNA Senior Care: 9 home safety tips for elderly people
- Unity Point Health: 10 tips to improve home safety for seniors
- Bryn Mawr Terrace: Home safety tips for seniors: Stair safety and living areas
- AARP: Make your home safe for your aging parent
Animals like cats and dogs are naturally curious creatures especially if an environment is new to them. Thus, they tend to get into little nooks and crannies which may result in unintentional injuries or accidents harming them and/or your home. Keep your animals safe by pet-proofing your home.
Some basic things you can do include:
- Keep the toilet lid closed.
- Use child-proof latches on cabinets.
- Keep food meant for people out of reach of animals.
- Check the washer and dryer for small animals before turning them on.
- Block small spaces in which animals may become trapped.
- American Humane Society: Pet-proofing your home
- American Animal Hospital Association: Holiday hazards: How to protect your pets
- The Anti-Cruelty Society: Fire safety for pets
Aside from your loved ones, you also want to protect your physical home from outside threats like burglars. Following the tips below would be beneficial for people who leave the house empty during the day or those who intend to travel for long periods.
- Invest in sound alarms and CCTV cameras.
- Keep blinds or curtains covering your windows to keep the inside of your house out of sight.
- Install exterior lights around your property to deter potential burglars.
- Consider having window bars or grates installed in your house especially if you are living in a neighborhood with high rates of burglary.
- Insurance Information Institute: Securing your home against burglary
- Open Access Government: 10 security tips to reduce empty nest stress
- Saratoga Springs Police Department: Home security tips to deter burglars
- Consumer Reports: 14 ways to make your home more secure
Safety measures should not just end in your house. Danger also lurks outside, sometimes even just a few steps or streets from your own home.
If you live in a tight-knit community, the chances are high that there are already measures in place to keep you and your family safe while walking or playing around the neighborhood. Still, you never know what you may encounter. Stay aware of your surroundings even when they are familiar.
If you or one of your children likes to bike around your community, it is also important to equip yourself with knowledge about the rules of the road and how to be safe while biking on streets with cars.