You can invest in a home security system, install super bright lights on the perimeter of your property, and use a baby gate in every doorway of your home, but you’ll still need to practice some commonplace commonsense to really make your home safer.
The challenge is, we tend to think spending the money on the gadgets and gizmos is enough and we forget to go the extra step, which is putting safety into practice.
As a quick refresher with summer vacation fast approaching (which means kids are going to be home more), we offer a few reminders of ways to make your home safer without spending a dime.
Test, test and test
We have all of these gadgets to keep us safer, but are they working? The only way to know is to test. Test your smoke alarms on a regular basis to make sure they’re working. Test your flashlights too, to see if they need new batteries. What other emergency and safety equipment do you have? Test it. This won’t cost you any money, and wouldn’t you rather find out it doesn’t work when you don’t need it rather than when you do?
Cook with caution
The kitchen is a great place for accidents! Practice commonsense when cooking, and you’ll have a better chance of avoiding anyone being injured by cuts or burns. All you have to do is make these kinds of things habit, so you are always doing them (or not doing them!):
- Staying in the kitchen while something is cooking on the stovetop.
- Pointing pot and pan handles in.
- Keeping sharp knifes out of reach of little hands.
- Cleaning up spills immediately, especially spills on the floor, to prevent slips and falls.
- Skipping the tablecloth if you have little ones or even pets who could pull on the cloth and thereby cause hot foods or liquids to fall on and burn them—or others.
Keep it all locked up, all the time
If you have kids, keep everything locked up any time it’s not in use, even if you’re going to use it again in a little while or the next day. We mean all your household cleaners, soaps and medicines inside of the house, and all of your yard care, paints and chemicals outside of the house.
But it’s not just the chemicals and cleaners that pose a threat. Even alcohol, matches, lighters and of course guns should be locked up whenever not in use. Obviously, what’s considered dangerous in your house will change as your kids age, but it’s still a good habit to get into. Our kids are all teens yet we get regular visits from a preschool-aged neighbor and a friend’s toddler, making the “all locked up all the time” rule still relevant at our house!
Additional free tips for a safer home
Other things you can do to make your home safer without spending any money include:
- Keep shoes under your bed in case you should have to get up and get out in a hurry.
- Avoid hanging anything glass or in other ways dangerous to you or your kids over beds where a disaster could cause an item to fall on someone who is sleeping.
- Have a family emergency plan and go over it on a regular basis, like monthly or quarterly. (Get ideas here.)
- Practice commonsense in everything you do around the house, always paying attention to the things that could go wrong.
And the biggest tip of all? Do it! Because the old saying about “better safe than sorry” still rings true today.