The 9 Safety Must Haves For Every Home

The 9 Safety Must Haves For Every Home

Maxwell Ryan
Feb 9, 2015

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...?

(Image credit: Tusch und Egon)

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.

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.

(Image credit: NEST)

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...

(Image credit:

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.

(Image credit: Dexter Lock Chicago)

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,

(Image credit: Nest)

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.


(Image credit: Shutterstock)

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.


(Image credit:

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.


(Image credit: Shutterstock/Shutterstock)

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
  • Candles
  • Whistle
  • 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
  • Cash!

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