Knowing that your home is safe is important, especially if you are a parent, and being prepared in the case of an emergency is even more critical. The best way to ensure your family’s safety is to have a plan and be prepared. Here is a Top 10 List for keeping your family safe and home organized so that you are better able to manage in an unexpected situation.
1. Emergency Plan. Create an emergency plan and review it with all the members of your family. Use online resources such as http://www.getprepared.gc.ca to create your emergency plan. Be sure to clarify check in processes so you know where your family members are, meeting points and emergency support services.
2. Emergency Contact Numbers. Create and print copies of emergency contact numbers. The list should include all 9-1-1 (Police, Fire and EMS), Poison Control, Family Doctors, Family Veterinarian, as well as family or friends to be contacted during an emergency. Post the list somewhere visible in your home so that your family, babysitters and others have access to it. Consider giving a copy to a trusted neighbor and keeping a copy in your purse or wallet.
3. Fire Safety. Test your smoke alarms and change batteries twice a year. Have a fire extinguisher or two located in easily accessible areas of your home and ensure all family members know where they are. Keep in mind that fire extinguishers need to be checked every six months as well.
4. CO Detectors. Test and check batteries in your CO detector annually. As CO is an odorless gas, it is important to have a detector.
5. First Aid Kit. Have a complete first aid kit in your home as well as bottled water, flashlights, blankets and a battery powered radio. Ensure these items are stored together in a readily accessible location and again that all family members know where that is. Ensure you check expiration dates on items and keep your first aid kit stocked.
6. Medicine Cabinet. Condense medicines and other first aid supplies into one location that is out of reach of children. Consider using a clear bin for these items and be prepared by including a variety of medicines and supplies. Go through your bin every six months and purge all expired items. Expired items should be returned to your pharmacist for proper disposal.
7. Allergies. Anyone with a serious allergy should have a Medic Alert Bracelet or other identification device. Educate all family members of allergies and what to do should an allergic or medical reaction take place.
8. Identity Theft. Protect yourself from identity theft by keeping all personal information confidential. Shred any banking, credit card or other personal information before disposing of it. This includes your mailing information on envelopes or packages. Ensure you have appropriate computer software on your home computer(s) to ensure you are protected from viruses and other threats.
9. Safe. Protect your important documents and valuables in a home safe. Be sure that the safe is both flood and fire proof, and is hidden in the case of a break in. Items to be placed in your safe include passports, jewelry and legal documents.
10. Other Safe Home Practices. Avoid tripping hazards by keeping clutter of stairs and out of high traffic areas. Avoid slips and fall by immediately cleaning up spills or water left on the floor from shoes and boots or in the bathroom. Consider an alarm system. Most companies offer theft, Police, Fire, EMS and other emergency protection.
We hope you find these tips helpful and they serve as a reminder to check your detectors and supplies. It’s always best to be prepared for the unexpected. Doing so will allow you to take better care of yourself and family in an emergency should it arise, and make unexpected situations less stressful.
For more information on Organizing Matters, the professional home and office services we offer, and to set up your free one hour in-home consultation, please visit www.organizingmatters.ca or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.