Your home is supposed to be where you feel most comfortable. But is it the place where you feel the safest? You spend so much time there, you certainly should. Here are five things you should be doing to make sure your home is the safest it can be.
1. Take a walk through.
Go room by room and make sure your furniture arrangement gives you plenty of pathways and places to move freely. You don’t want to be tripping over your ottoman on the way to answering the phone. Throw rugs should be securely fastened to the floor with double stick tape. And clutter should be cleared away. Pay particular attention to the staircase, where it’s so easy to slip and fall.
2. Lights, lights, lights.
Your house should be well lit whenever you’re moving around in it. Make sure there are light switches at the bottom and the top of all staircases. Put a lamp within easy reach of your bed and install a night light in the bathroom. Keep a flashlight by your bed just in case of a power outage. And make sure you have motion detector lights outside your house.
3. Test your smoke alarms every month.
They do no good if they don’t work. Designate at least two escape routes from each room and decide on a spot outside where everyone should meet in case of fire. Practice emergency evacuation drills at least two times a year.
4. Create a stay-at-home emergency kit.
It should include enough water to last three to six days (one gallon per person per day), food that doesn’t require cooking or refrigeration, a flashlight and some light sticks, a portable radio, spare batteries, a first aid kit, waterproof matches, a three- to six-day supply of prescription medications, some cash or travelers’ checks, and an emergency contact list.
5. Test your home for radon.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) estimates that nearly one out of every 15 homes in the U.S. has unsafe levels of this colorless, odorless, radioactive gas. And about 20,000 people die each year because of radon in the home. Along with the Surgeon General, the EPA recommends testing the lowest floor of every home. In other words, if you have a basement, put the test there. Inexpensive test kits are available through the mail. Google your state’s department of health, which usually sells them at the cheapest rates. (Some even give them away for free). Or call the National Radon Hotline at 1-800-SOS-RADON (1-800-767-7236).
From choosing healthy foods to taking daily supplements and beyond, small steps add up to your ability to enjoy an active life filled with vitality and vigor. Turns out, the same holds true for your home.With just a little effort, you truly can have your home sweet (and safe) home.