Although I grew up in New York City, my family and I always felt safe. It may be hard to believe, but there were times where we didn’t even lock the doors. No one’s house ever got broken into and everyone trusted that if a neighbor saw something suspicious they would report it right away, and then probably hurry over to see if there was something that they could do to help the situation.
Philip grew up in South America, and although he lived in a tranquil setting, he was always cautious. Even now, despite the fact that we live in a quiet suburban town, he makes sure that everything is locked up tight. I used to think that this behavior was a cute quirk of his, if maybe a little bit silly, but never really gave it much of a second thought. Then we had a son. Since then, not only am I just as paranoid about safety as Philip is, I’ve thought a lot about what I could be doing better to help keep us safe. Here’s what I’ve found to be the top ten ways to keep your family safe:
- Install a security system – This one does have a cost associated with it, but in my opinion, there is no cost too great when it comes to keeping your family safe. The security system we have not only helps to reduce the risk of break ins, it also monitors for smoke and many other potential safety issues.
- Make sure your smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors are working – Regularly change the batteries and test them to make sure that they are functioning properly.
- Secure dangerous areas – When you have kids in the house, everything basically becomes dangerous. Make sure to use a safety gate at the top and bottom of the stairs, lock cabinets containing chemicals or medicine and plug up all electrical outlets.
- Careful in the Kitchen – Cooking is part of daily life but can be very dangerous for a curious child. Keep knives out of reach of little hands, turn pot and pan handles to the back of the stove, and don’t ever leave out hot food or liquid.
- Keep weapons locked up – If you have to have a weapon in your house, be sure to keep it out of reach of children AND locked up.
- Put away things right away – Tools being used for a fix-it-up project, sewing kits, plastic bags, etc. All of these things could be casually left around and could hurt a child.
- Encourage helmet use – Make sure to be adamant about helmet use from an early age. As soon as your child is old enough to ride on anything, a helmet should be part of the routine.
- Properly install car seats – Your local fire station or police department can usually check your car seats to ensure that they are properly installed. You should take the time to do this as many car seats have complicated installation instructions.
- Never leave young ones alone in the water – Drowning injury and death can occur in less than 1 inch of water for infants. Even older kids shouldn’t be left alone in water until they are proficient swimmers. While a pool alarm can alert you if a child falls into the pool, it is not a substitute for supervision.
- Have a safety plan – Have a plan in case of emergencies and communicate it often to your family. The best way to stay safe in a disaster is to know what you are doing ahead of time.
Following these simple steps will help to keep your family safe and happy for years to come.
Here are some more great articles with more family safety ideas:
- Keeping You and Your Family Safe
- Fire Safety 101: Keeping Your Family Safe
- Helpful Tips For Keeping Your Home and Family Safe
What do you do to keep your home and family safe?