Having a comfortable, secure place to live is a priority for most homeowners. Here are a few things you can do to keep a safe home.

Install Smoke Detectors

Smoke detectors alert your family to a fire in the home. Install these devices in each bedroom and in the hallway outside the sleeping areas. Make sure you have at least one smoke detector on every level of your house. Because kitchen fires and dryer fires are frequent causes of damage to a home, install detectors in the kitchen and laundry room.

Attach Handrails to Keep a Safe Home

Handrails help family members, especially aging adults and very young children, to navigate the stairs. They are required by building codes and should be between 30” and 37” high. To help keep your home safe, inspect the handrails periodically and secure them if they become loose.

Keep a Safe Home for Children

Depending on the ages of your children, you will probably have to revisit your safety plan every year or so. No matter their age, it’s important to keep toxic substances out of reach. Paints, household cleaners, lawn chemicals, and medications should be stored up high or in locked cabinets.

Work together with your family on a fire escape plan. Find two exits from each room and map routes to leave the house. Teach children to crawl on their hands and knees if the smoke is too thick to see or breathe well. When family members help come up with an escape plan, they are more likely to remember it.

Cooking Safety

Take care when preparing meals to avoid accidents. Keep knives and cooking utensils out of reach of small children. Turn pot handles inward to avoid accidents that knock hot food off the stove.

Flammable items like towels, paper products, and aprons should be kept away from hot surfaces. Clean appliances after use. Food particles, fats, and grease can ignite and cause a fire. Never leave a hot stovetop unattended. There should always be an adult present when food is cooking.

Adequate Lighting is Important in Creating a Safe Home

Indoors and outdoors, good lighting helps keep you and your family safe. Install motion-detecting lighting on the side of the house. When you get home after dark, the lights will power on and you can safely get inside. Illuminate walkways with solar-powered stake lights.

Because the kitchen is the most often used room in a home, good lighting is important there. Install lights underneath the cabinets so the countertops are illuminated for measuring ingredients and chopping vegetables. Whether you use the island for making sandwiches, doing homework, paying bills, or rolling out dough, better lighting will make each task safer and easier.

Stairways should always be well-lit. Outdoors, install recessed lighting into the deck stairs or use solar-powered LEDs to light the way. Indoors, keep the lighting fixtures in stairways clean and replace the bulbs as needed. Install a brighter bulb to better illuminate the steps.

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