While shopping for furniture and accessories to fill your new home, make sure to add basic safety supplies and devices to your list. Purchasing and installing these items can help keep your family, pets, property and your possessions safe.
Installing smoke detectors should be part of any fire safety plan. There are different types of smoke alarms and detectors you can install in your home. Make sure the alarms you select are listed or approved by an independent testing laboratory, such as Underwriters Laboratories (UL). It’s important to test alarms every month and replace batteries annually to be sure they're operating properly. Here are a few types of smoke detectors:
- Battery-powered alarms may use a nine-volt battery or 10-year lithium battery.
- Hard-wired smoke alarms operate on the home's electrical system and include a battery backup in case of power failure.
- Dual sensor alarms have the benefit of ionization and photoelectric technology to sense the smoke. Installing one on every level of your home, inside every bedroom and outside sleeping areas is a smart idea.
- Combination smoke and carbon monoxide detectors may be a good choice for certain locations such as the garage, and near heat sources such as furnaces, water heaters, dryers and fireplaces.
Selecting a safe and certified multi-purpose fire extinguisher that is large enough to put out a small fire but is also lightweight and easy to handle is important. Local fire departments or fire equipment distributors often offer hands-on fire extinguisher training. Be cautious of purchasing counterfeit fire extinguishers as there are many on the market today.
There are several types and styles of fire extinguishers. Placing one in your kitchen and every level of your home and learning how to use it is important. According to femalifesafety.org, “Today's most widely used type of fire extinguisher is the multipurpose dry chemical that is effective on Class A, B, and C fires. This agent also works by creating a barrier between the oxygen element and the fuel element on Class A fires.” Dry chemical extinguishers can help cover the most common types of fires in a home including wood and paper fires, grease and oil fires and electrical fires.
Carbon monoxide detectors
Carbon monoxide is an odorless, colorless gas that is very deadly. Carbon monoxide poisoning is the second most common cause of non-medicinal poisoning deaths each year. Every home should have carbon monoxide detectors and here are a few things to consider:
- Install safe and certified devices. There are many types that have different sensors but always select certified and safe carbon monoxide detectors.
- Power types vary. You can choose between battery operated, wired or plug-in connections for most devices.
- Dual sensing options are available. Many carbon monoxide detectors have dual-sensing capabilities that alert for smoke or gas and the alerts vary depending.
- Knowing where to install them is key. Keep carbon monoxide detectors out of reach to avoid tampering. It is recommended to install them in frequented rooms of your home and outside sleeping areas.
- Maintain and replace your devices. Install battery-operated or battery back-up devices and check or replace the battery when you change the time on your clocks each spring and fall. It is recommended that detectors be replaced every five years.
Emergency and protective supplies
Be prepared in the event of an injury, severe weather or a natural disaster by purchasing, keeping and maintaining various emergency kits.
- Emergency kits. The type of emergency kits needed will depend on the type of weather your region encounters.
- Protective supply kit. Protect yourself from injury by having a kit of personal protective equipment and supplies. This may include gloves, safety goggles, hearing protection, sunscreen, insect repellant, dust masks and other items. When you're shopping for safety products, always look for an independent testing laboratory's mark of approval to be sure the product meets established safety standards.
After assembling your kit, remember to maintain it so it’s ready when needed. Be sure to re-think your needs every year and update your kit as your family’s needs change.
In addition to the ones noted, there are several other great safety gadgets you may not have thought about that you may want to consider for your home.