Ensuring a safer house doesn’t have to be costly. Below are seven inexpensive ideas to protect yourself and your loved ones in your home:
- Make staircases safer by replacing any loose carpeting and adding non-slip strips to outdoor stairs. Also consider adding a second handrail to both indoor and outdoor staircases, as it’s easier to go up and down stairs using both hands.
- Any portable space heaters that you use should be at least 3 feet away from any flammable surface. Look for space heaters that have an automatic shut-off if they tip over. Space heaters should be turned off if you are not in the room while it’s running.
- Clean your dryer vents and exhaust ducts regularly. Even if you clean your lint trap every time you use your clothes dryer, lint can still build up in other places. Don’t run your dryer when you’re not at home, as heated trapped lint could catch on fire.
- Illuminate dark areas in your house, like hallways or stairs, with inexpensive LED night lights. Most night lights can plug into wall sockets and will last for years. If you don’t want a light that’s constantly shining, look for night lights that have motion sensors.
- Set your water heater thermostat to a temperature at or below 120 degrees. This will help reduce the risk of scalds and burns and can help reduce energy costs.
- Anchor any TVs so they’re less likely to tip over and hurt children. You can do this by mounting them to the wall with a safety-certified mount, or with a pair of TV straps to keep them from tipping over. If you are using a wall mount, make sure to place it in a wall stud so it can hold the weight of the TV properly.
- If you have a multiple-story home, it’s a good idea to invest in a fire ladder. These ladders are portable and can be unraveled easily during a fire by either an older child or an adult. They can be stored in a closet or underneath a nearby bed for quick use in an emergency.