Simple Tips for Preparing Your Home for Emergencies

A large percentage of accidents and emergencies happen in the home and sometimes it can feel hard to prepare for every eventuality. However, there are a number of very easy steps to help keep your family, and your home, safe and sound.

Keep a list of any important phone numbers on the fridge. NHS direct, British Gas, your water company and your insurance details may all come in handy one day. If there is a real emergency it means you won’t need to frantically tear through the phone book to find the number you need.

Check that your house is secure. Burglars are often able to walk straight into houses when back doors and windows are left open. Invest in a good burglar alarm and set it at night and whenever you leave the house. Ensure all windows and doors are locked, and double-check the locks on any sheds or garages when you leave the house, even for a short period of time.

Home insurance is incredibly important, and will give you peace of mind if anything does happen to your home. Make sure your home insurance is up to date; there would be nothing worse than needing to claim and finding out you have forgotten to renew your policy. It is also important to check what your home insurance policy covers. If you only have a basic policy then you may want to update it to get the best protection for your home.

Make sure you check your smoke alarms regularly, as the batteries will sometimes need replacing. If you have a carbon dioxide alarm remember to check that too; it will take five minutes and could save your life.

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Always have a small stash of emergency supplies. Most important is a first aid kit, which will come in handy for both minor and major accidents. It should include anti-septic wipes, plasters, gauzes, bandages and a sling. You can also keep a small survival kit in case of power cuts or extreme weather. This should consist of a torch, blankets, matches, some tins of food and cereal bars, bottled water and food for any pets.

Keep a fire extinguisher in the kitchen and near any open fires. It is also important to know how to use it and what to use it on; there are foam, water, powder and Co2 extinguishers, and they are all used for different types of fire. Keeping a fire blanket by the cooker is also a good idea.

Make sure each member of your family understands what to do in an emergency. Have an evacuation plan in case you need to leave the house quickly, and teach any children how to dial for the emergency services.

Keep the house safe for children. Cleaning products should be hidden away where they can’t be reached, and baby-proof any cupboards. This can be done by purchasing baby-proofing kits, which include small clips to attach to cupboards that are off limits. You can also stick small pieces of foam to sharp table corners and work-surfaces, to stop any banged heads!

If you follow these simple tips then your home should be ready for any eventuality. Emergencies do happen, but by preparing and remaining vigilant, your family and home should remain safe, happy and secure.

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