1. Be prepared for a fire emergency
- Have fire drills with your family, practicing various evacuation routes.
- Plan a specific meeting location away from the house, so that you can all immediately know when and if everyone has made it out of the home.
- Check your home for any stuck windows or doors that might prevent exit during a fire and get them fixed.
- For upstairs bedrooms, consider investing in emergency ladders that can be kept under beds when a hallway fire forces a window exit. Practice using the ladders, but do so from a first floor window for safety; family members will still “get the hang of it” before the emergency that way.
- If your home windows have security bars that could not only prevent burglaries but also prevent family members from escaping a fire, consider upgrading them with the type that have a quick-release device for emergency exiting. Read more on this at fema.org.
2. Be ready to practice first aid
- Have up-to-date first aid kits in your home – ideally more than one.
- Know how to do first aid, which can be as simple as signing up your family for a local first aid class.
- Write down the poison control number (1-800-222-1222) and keep it in a safe place – perhaps in your medicine cabinets.
- Know where the nearest hospital is and have your doctor’s phone number.
3. Take steps to protect your children from lead poisoning
A primary source of lead in homes: ordinary house paint used before 1978. As old paint cracks or chips, it generates toxic lead dust, capable of causing learning and behavior problems. Lead can also be found in the ground around your house, your drinking water (from lead pipes), and from older toys and furniture.
To protect your family when you live in an older home, keep away from chipping or peeling lead paint, have your home tested for lead paint, ask your doctor to test your child for lead, wash hands and toys often, and use a wet paper towel or mop when dusting.
To learn more about preventing lead poisoning, contact the National Lead Information Center at 1-800-424-LEAD. And when remodeling or repairing your house, first check out these lead-safe work practices from the EPA.
4. Reduce risks of home injuries from falls
5. Protect your family from asbestos risks
Before you perform any remodeling or have any remodeling work done in your house, such as new roofing installation, insulation replacement, or re-tiling work, reviewed these potentially life-saving remodeling safety tips from mesothelioma.com.
Get started today, during National Home Safety Month