Make Your Home Safer: 3 DIY Projects for a Saturday Afternoon
Unexpected emergencies, disasters and hardships are inevitable. However, planning ahead and being prepared for the worst can have a huge impact on how your family is affected. If you’ve got a knack for DIY projects, consider adding safety features to your home. Here are three home projects that can make your home a safer environment for the entire family:
Have a First-Aid Kit Handy
A well-stocked first-aid kit can help you act quickly when it comes to common emergencies and injuries that may happen around the home. The Mayo Clinic suggests storing one kit in your car and one kit in your home and recommends placing the kits in accessible locations, yet out of the reach of children. Once your children understand the purpose of a first-aid kit, teach them how to use the contents inside and tell them where the kits are stored.
There are three types of items you will need for your kits:
- Basic supplies like cold packs, soaps and sanitizers, bandages and thermometers
- Medications including aspirin, aloe vera gel, an antihistamine and personal medications
- Emergency items like medical history forms, emergency space blankets, matches and emergency contact information
The kits should be evaluated every three months. Take note of any expired medications or items that have been used. For a complete list of safety kit items visit MayoClinic.org.
Create a Fire Escape Plan
According to the American Red Cross, 60 percent of house fire fatalities occur in homes with dysfunctional smoke alarms. Protect your family and make sure that your smoke alarms are in working order. Each bedroom of your home should be equipped with an alarm and the hallways outside of the sleeping spaces should have alarms, too. And remember to install the alarms on every level of your home. These potentially lifesaving alarms should be tested each month and if they’re not working the batteries should be changed or the unit should be replaced immediately.
Create a fire escape plan for your family to follow just in case disaster strikes. Use a large sheet of graph paper to draw out your home’s floor plan and plot a fire escape route. This activity should be a family endeavor and each member of your family should know the route. The average family has just two minutes to escape a home that’s on fire, according to the American Red Cross. Be sure to practice the fire escape plan and make sure that each family member understands completely. Once it’s plotted out, pick an exterior location where your family will all meet up — maybe a neighbor’s driveway or the street corner nearby. Store your fire escape plan in an accessible location and remember to practice regularly.
The American Red Cross also suggests teaching your family how to practice low crawling and recommends showing your family how to stop, drop and roll.
Add Home Security
Only 12.7 percent of home burglaries are cleared by police, and recovery of the stolen items is even less probable, according to the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI.) The FBI also reports that the average loss reported in burglary cases is $2,185 – far more than the cost of a home security system. Having a home security system on your property can deter criminals from your home as well. In fact, studies by the University of North Carolina found that most burglars try to determine if a home has a security system in place. Their findings suggest that burglars tend to move onto a different target if a security system is noticeably present.
Outside security cameras equipped with night vision not only deter criminals but also give the entire family peace of mind. Lorex Technology offers outdoor security cameras with night vision capabilities. These can be easily installed without a professional. Plus, the camera systems can be purchased outright, meaning there’s no monthly payment or service charge. Simply follow the manufacturers instructions and your home security camera system can be up and running in no time.
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