Safety is something we don’t usually think about ahead of time, and hindsight isn’t usually very effective in this area. Here are eight things you should consider when thinking about basic safety practices.
- Fire Extinguisher – Fire extinguishers are specially designed to put out the types of fires you might have in your house without causing the fire to spread. Throwing water on an electrical or grease fire may make things worse. Keeping an extinguisher handy helps ensure that you’ll have something effective to use if it is needed.
- First Aid Kit – This is particularly important to have in your car. Our first aid kit contains a variety of bandages, disinfectants and pain relivers. It also contains a small bag of sterile water and various wraps. Even just having an aspirin for a bad headache while driving on a long trip can significantly increase your safety on the road.
- Fire Plan – If you have a family, make sure you have an agreed upon place to meet in case of a fire. You don’t want to go running back into the house to find a loved one just because they are behind the building instead of out front with everyone else in case of an emergency.
- Smoke Alarm – These are simple, inexpensive devices that can easily save your life in the case of an emergency. And make sure you test the batteries regularly.
- Carbon Monoxide Detector – Many people overlook the need for a carbon monoxide detector. In some ways, this is more important than a smoke detector because you can’t see carbon monoxide like you can smoke.
- Itineraries – Make sure you leave your travel plans with family or friends. If something goes wrong, you want people to start looking for you the day you go missing–not a week later. A few years ago, a young family got stuck in the snow on a back road. Since no one knew their travel plans, it was several days before people realized that they were missing and started looking for them.
- Flashlights – You should have an easily accessible flashlight in your car and your home. When traveling, a flashlight’s importance is less about you being able to see and more about letting other people see you if you happen to break down on the side of the road.
- Emergency Numbers – If you use services like Skype or Vonage, make sure you understand how the emergency numbers work. You may need to add the local police station to speed dial because 911 may not work on these services. It might be wise to put a sticker on your home phone with the emergency numbers if you are in this situation and frequently have visitors or guests who might need to call 911.