20 Can’t Miss Home Safety Tips

by Shea Homes Arizona on February 1, 2012

 

From extensive quality review checks, to using the highest quality products, at Shea Homes, we’re committed to building homes that are safe inside and out for you and your family. That said, the level of safety in your family’s home, often will depend on you.

So, we decided to share twenty home safety tips that we don’t want any of our homeowners to miss. We hope these give you some food for thought and that you’ll do a little research of your own with the resource links throughout the blog post.

If you know you’ll be out of the house over night or for an extended period of time try not to advertise that you’re gone or what kinds of fun things you have in your house.

  • Keep garage doors shut, draw curtains and blinds closed, particularly in rooms where you have electronics and other expensive belongings such as jewelry.
  • Turn on a light or two or even set the television to come on for short time (this can often be done using DVR devices).
  • Remember that notes on the door may be helpful to communicate with the dog-sitter, other service people or family members, but they also alert a potential burglar that you’re not home.

According to the U.S. Fire Administration (USFA), smoking is the leading cause of fatal residential fires and approximately 55% of residential fires begin in the bedroom. So aside from the conclusion that smoking in bed is dangerous (on many levels), here are a few other tips we recommend to keep your home and family fire safe.

  • In case a fire should start, draft a fire escape plan for your home. For specific advice from the USFA on creating a plan for your family, click here. Don’t forget to go over your plan regularly and even practice with a semi-annual family fire-drill.
  • Keep an eye on any lit candles in the house. Be sure to not leave them unattended and that they are kept out of reach of little hands but not so close to the ceiling that that it presents a hazard.
  • In the summer months, when vegetation in your yard may become especially dry, take care to clear and dispose of dead plants around your home.
  • Be sure to maintain smoke detectors properly by checking battery life monthly.
  • Find a safe place to store pot holders, plastic utensils, towels and other non-cooking equipment that is not on top of or nearby the stove-top, because these can be easily ignited by the heat from the range.
  • If you notice an outlet or switch that is uncharacteristically warm or hot, it may indicate an unsafe electrical condition. Stop using the switch or outlet and have an electrician check the wiring as soon as possible.  

Prevention is one of the keys to home safety, especially when there are children in the home. Here are a few points to remember when dealing with poisonous or other dangerous household items.

  • Keep all firearms unloaded and locked in a safe which children do not have access to or know the combination to. For more about firearm safety, take a look at these tips from the National Rifle Association.
  • Store dangerous everyday substances such as medicines, toxic bleaches, oven and drain cleaners, paint solvents, polishes, waxes, charcoal lighter, antifreeze, and turpentine in the original containers with the original labels in a cabinet that is out of reach for children, rather than under the sink.
  • Look for brands that are packaged with child-resistant lids.
  • For more information about common poisonous household products, call 1-800-222-1222, but in case of emergency be sure to call 911.

Especially in Arizona, where personal outdoor swimming pools are common, teaching your children water safety as well as preventative measures are vital.

  • A swimming pool should have a fence or barrier surrounding all four sides with self-closing and self-latching gates (with latches that are out of reach of young children).
  • If there are doors or windows that lead directly to the pool, be sure to secure them.
  • Consider installing an alarm if the house is part of the four-sided barrier to prevent small children from having access to the pool.
  • Place tables and chairs well away from the pool fence to prevent children from climbing into the pool area.
  • Never leave children alone near standing water.
  • For more on water safety, take a look at this archived blog post.

Finally, in case of an injury or other emergency, assemble a first aid kit, complete with emergency numbers, and store it in place that is accessible to all members of the family.

  • Click here for a list from the Red Cross of suggested items to include.

To create a personalized home safety checklist, we recommend using this questionnaire developed by the Home Safety Council.

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{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

Zachar Law Firm February 1, 2012 at 1:40 pm

Great post! Not only are these great tips, but one of the most important is checking the batteries in smoke detectors monthly. Though it may seem such a small task, this is probably one of the most crucial pieces of making sure your home is always safe for you and your loved ones to enjoy for years to come.

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Love my home February 7, 2012 at 7:33 am

Thanks for the post. This is great! I have two more suggestions 1) let a neighbor know if you will be out of town. If they see anything “out of the norm” while you are away they can call the police. 2) If you get the paper, put a hold on your service or have a neighbor pick it up while you are away. Seeing the paper pile up in the driveway is a red flag for burglars.

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Meridith Doucette February 10, 2012 at 9:39 am

Great suggestions – thanks Lisa!

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