During a disaster, ordinary objects in your home can cause injury or damage to you or your loved ones and pets. However, there are simple steps you can take to make your home safer by taking a room to room inventory. Start by viewing each room with a “disaster eye” if you will and identify the potential hazards, bookshelves that could tip over in an earthquake and block exits, large TV’s or other heavy objects that could fall and cause injury. The last thing you want during a disaster when you are trying to evacuate your home is an obstacle course. Sure you can’t disaster proof everything but you can identify the major potential problems and do something about it. Here are some things to look at doing to start this process.
- Install smoke detectors on each level of your home and change batteries every 6 months and test them regularly, not a problem at our house since someone always seems to burn something cooking at least once a month.
- Move beds away from windows. Falling glass..duh.
- Move mirrors and heavy pictures away from couches or places where people sit. This is one that I’m sure everyone can relate too.
- Keep hallways and exits clear for easy evacuation.
- Store heavy items on the lowest shelves.
- Keep ABC type fire extinguishers on each level of your home and know how and when to use them. Be sure to show your kids how to use a fire extinguisher, it just might save your life.
- Store flammable or highly reactive chemicals such as bleach, ammonia, and paint thinners securely and separate from each other. If they were to spill and mix you could end up with some very toxic fumes.
- Secure pictures and wall hangings and use restraints to secure heavy items such as bookcases and file cabinets to the wall.
- Know how and when to switch off your utilities.
- Ensure that all windows with safety bars have emergency releases. You don’t want to get trapped inside and not be able to get out when needed.
- Be sure your home number is visible from the street so emergency vehicles can find you.
There are lots of additional resources and information on structural and non-structural things you can do to make your home safer in an earthquake or other disasters so take the time to find these resources and implement them into your home safety plans. So get out there and start your plan today, you’ll be glad you did.
Author: The Survival Guy