Home safety tips

Top tips for keeping your home safe and giving yourself some peace of mind.

Home safety tips

Top tips for keeping your home safe and giving yourself some peace of mind.
  • We're always looking for ways to make our homes safe and healthy, and safety tips abound. Here are some of the top recommended tips for home safety. Make them a checklist and work through them one by one for peace of mind.

  • Top home safety tips

    • Keep medications in a high location, out of reach of children. Don't rely on the safety caps alone. Don't forget medicine left on your nightstand or in your purse.

    • Make sure you have working fire extinguishers on each level of your house. Check the expiration dates and make sure you know how to operate them.

    • Check your extension cords and power strips to make sure the recommended wattage isn't being exceeded. Also, dangling cords are easy to trip over, so secure them by taping them along your baseboards or securing them some other way.

    • Smoke and carbon monoxide detectors should be tested to make sure they are operational. One easy way to keep batteries fresh is to replace them every daylight savings time change.

    • Keep high windows locked so that children can't fall out. If you like a little ventilation, place a narrow block of wood in the window track so the window can be opened a little, but not enough to allow a child to fall out.

    • Practice ways to escape from your home in case of an emergency such as fire or earthquake. Plan at least two ways to leave any room of your house, and make sure everyone understands the plan. Arrange for helping the very young or anyone who can't move on their own.

    • Never leave a baby alone in the bath — not even for one minute.

    • If you have a space heater, make sure it has plenty of clearance around it to prevent fire. Three feet or more is recommended.

    • If you have a fireplace, make sure the flue is open when you light the fire and is left open until the ashes are cold to prevent poisonous gasses from building up in your home. Make sure there is no buildup or other blockage of the flue.

    • Be sure the phone number for your local poison control center is posted where the family can easily find it, and talk about when it's important to call.

    • Don't leave children in a parked car while you run into the store, even for a minute. Heat can build up inside a car faster than you think. Even in mild weather, this practice is completely unsafe.

Margot Hovley is the author of the novels "Sudden Darkness" and "Glimmering Light." Her self-reliance blog is at, and she blogs about her writing adventures at


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