Secure Windows and Doors
According to the FBI, more than 33% of home burglaries were the result of unlocked windows and doors in 2010. Most burglars spend less than 60 seconds breaking into a home. The more difficult it is for the burglar to gain access, the more likely they are to leave.
- Keep all windows and doors locked at all times and make sure locks are functioning correctly.
- Secure sliding doors by inserting a metal pipe or bar along the bottom track.
- Open garage doors provide an open invitation for intruders, so be sure to keep them closed.
- Consider installing a home security system and you may even qualify for a discount on your insurance premium.
Test Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarms
Fires spread quickly. Make sure you have working smoke alarms on every level of your home and in every bedroom. A working smoke alarm reduces the chances of death by 50%.
Additionally, carbon monoxide poisoning can result from faulty generators, heaters, water heaters, clothes dryers and motor vehicles. You cannot see, taste or smell the gas, which can cause injury and even death with exposure.
Make a recurring calendar appointment on your phone to test smoke and carbon monoxide alarms every month, and replace the batteries every six months. For more information about fire and carbon monoxide safety, visit Safekids.org.
Prevent a Fire: Ensure Your Clothes Dryer is Properly Installed and Maintained
According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, more than 15,000 fires are sparked each year by clothes dryers or washing machines. You may be surprised to learn that the main reason clothes dryer fires occur is simply because owners fail to properly clean and maintain them. Don’t let your home become a statistic. Take these simple steps to ensure that your dryer is installed, cleaned and maintained properly.
Keep Chemicals and Fuel Away From Children
Many household products are potentially dangerous if ingested. Keep all chemicals and fuel out of reach from children by installing childproof locks and doorknobs. Another good practice is to keep all products in their original packaging, so they cannot be mistaken for food. Flammable products such as fuels and fertilizers should be kept in cabinets with guards or childproof locks.
If you suspect your child has ingested a household product, contact American Association of Poison Control Centers at 800-222-1212 immediately.
Practice Electrical Safety
Electrical fires are a leading cause of household fires every year and half involve lighting equipment or home electrical wiring. Follow these safety tips to prevent an electrical fire in your home:
- Discard or replace damaged electrical cords and appliances, and do not run extension cords under carpets or rugs.
- Cover any unused electrical outlets with plastic covers to keep children safe.
- Never use an extension cord with a heat-producing appliance.
- Don’t overload extension cords or wall outlets.
- Use light bulbs that are the correct wattage for your lamps and light fixtures.
Minor Product Recalls
In 2011 alone, there were over 2,300 recalls in consumer products, pharmaceuticals, medical devices and food, according to USA Today. Recalled products can result in injury or damage to personal property. Keep track of all recalls by signing up for email alerts at Recalls.gov. There are also a number of free apps available that will alert you every time there is a new recall.