Every year, scores of people move into their dream house and enjoy the peace of mind that comes from having their own little corner to call home. Unfortunately, dreams can turn quickly to tragedy when disasters strike and cause extensive damage to property – if not posing a risk to life. But a little preparation can ensure your home and family remain safe and sound.
All too many families have come back from holiday or woken up to find their windows or doors broken in and their treasured possessions taken. Some precautions might seem obvious: check your windows and doors are locked, hide valuables out of sight and check your alarm system is activated and functioning. But did you know thieves will often use heavy items such as garden tools to break into your property? Make sure items like these are securely locked out of sight.
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A house fire can start anywhere and rip through your home in minutes. Make sure your smoke alarm is working and change the battery if not; if you don’t have a smoke alarm, fit one as soon as possible. Take extra care while cooking: most fires are caused by accidents in the kitchen. And consider making use of PAT testers to check the safe operation of electrical equipment – every year, tens of thousands of fires are started by faulty electrical products.
3. Child Safety
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Playtime can turn into calamity all too quickly if you’re not careful. A vast array of things we take for granted as adults can be deadly for a child: small items can easily choke children if placed in the mouth, and ordinary cleaning products with toxic chemicals can be poisonous if swallowed.
Keep small items out of reach on high shelves, and place cleaning products, chemicals and medicines in a locked cupboard, safe from an inquisitive child. Consider learning first aid and CPR so you’ll be prepared for the worst – just in case.
4. Natural Disasters
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Apart from perhaps a few meteorologists, no one can predict when a flood or storm might strike, but you can make sure you’ve prepared in advance to protect your home. Fresh drinking water is the most basic essential: you can buy it bottled or fill containers from the tap, but whatever you do make sure you have at least a gallon (4.5 litres) per person per day for a minimum of three days.
Pack a first aid kit for any minor injuries, including any medicine you might need. A torch is always useful, and hand wipes or alcohol gel can keep you clean in the absence of running water.