Inspired by all your feedback on my last list like this, 12 Things Every Home Should Have, I decided to refine my focus, do more research and give you a lens into what I think really makes the difference in a home in terms of safety. Here, then, is my primer to be used at home or as a guide for getting presents for friends: The 9 HOME Safety Must Haves.... The next list after this will be...?
1. Fire Extinguisher
This is an easy one to check off the list and great for being able to relax about basic fire hazards, like kitchen fires. The ones above are super stylish, as are the two bottom links below. Want to go further? Here's a link to How To Buy The Right Fire Extinguisher and here's a link to our Home Fire Safety Checklist.
- Fire Extinguisher Device by Tusch Und Egon - £86 (above)
- Kidde 21005779 Pro 210 Fire Extinguisher, ABC, 160CI - $39.77
- Fire Design - 99.33 €
2. First Aid Kit
I never had one of these until I had a child, and then it was mostly for endless bandaids, BUT on occasion, I have been very grateful for the deeper offering, particularly around bad knife cuts, infected cuts and bad sprains. Somehow, just bringing out a good first aid kit makes people calmer, and that helps. Most kits don't come with enough band-aids, so you'll still need to stock those, and pick carefully that the kit you are getting is practical for you. Basic family kits are good bets.
3. Smoke & CO Alarm
This is the final big part of the safety triangle, and you can buy these separately or together now with NEST. the nice thing about NEST is the ability to remotely monitor your home. They broke ground, but there is competition...
- NEST Smoke & CO2 Alarm - $99
- Kidde KN-COSM-BA Battery-Operated Combination Carbon Monoxide and Smoke Alarm - $30.99
4. Contact List for Doctors, Poison Control, Parents, etc
Information is always a part of safety, and one good contact list that's easily available to you, guests, babysitters, family members is crucial. Don't just put your outside emergency contacts on it, however, also include your own personal information and health insurance information in case you can't or aren't there to provide it.
- Who Should Be on Your Emergency Contact List - Cozy.com (I like these suggestions)
- Emergency Contact Form Download - Petit Lemon
- Emergency Contact Form Download - Babycenter
5. True Dead Bolt Locks on Outside Doors
This is one step removed, but having a good lock on your door is a no-brainer, whether you are at home or away. The only real locks that work are those that physically bolt the door in an interlocking way like the classic dead bolt above. You can go much further, of course,
- Door Bar by Abus - When I was a kid in NYC in the 70's and 80's we had one of these on our house after being robbed twice.
- What's Your Home Security System? - Tess Wilson on keeping a hammer by her bedside
- The Ultimate Lock looks pretty good - $79.98
6. WiFi Thermostat
Another step removed, but important if you want your house to be safe when you're not there. A WiFi thermostat can not only help you save money on your heating bill by allowing you to turn the heat down easily when you're not there, it allows you to see if your heat has gone out or electricity has gone out before your pipes freeze.
7. Non Toxic House Plants
Let's get serious for a moment. Having a sick cat or dog, OR a guest's sick cat or dog is often just as bad as being sick ourselves. One easy adjustment or area of consciousness raising is around plants that are toxic to pets, then you can check this box easily.
8. Home Childproofing
The second to last big area of home safety is SO big, I won't really even touch it except to give you a few really good links to get started. The main safety concerns, even for babies, are covered above, but click below for more.
- 30 Ways To Baby Proof Your Home - SheKnows
- The Common-Sense Approach To Baby-Proofing - AlphaMom
- Baby Gates That are High On Style - Apartment Therapy
9. Disaster Kit
Here's your big one, your Go Bag, your earthquake/wildfire/hurricane/the-power-is-out-for-a-week solution, which many more people have felt in this country than ever before with the crazy weather. These kits can be extensive, so I've culled a list of the essentials and provided links to more. Most of these things really can be kept in a plastic bin in a closet or garage, and the biggest storage issue is the water, which is nice to have for even the slightest of power outages.
- Food - 3 Day Supply of non perishable food
- Water - 1 gallon per person per day for three days
- Flashlight & extra batteries
- Extra cell phone battery or Solar Charger
- Safety Matches
- Battery-powered or hand crank radio and a NOAA Weather Radio with tone alert and extra batteries for both
- Vital Documents - or copies of
- Can opener
- Personal Hygiene Products
- Pet food & extra water for your pet