When it comes to home safety supplies, many of us feel lost, confused, and straight-up overwhelmed. Sure, we have the fundamentals covered. We have carbon monoxide and smoke detectors installed throughout our homes and we have a fire extinguisher ready to whip out on a moment’s notice. But this doesn’t feel like it could possibly be enough. At the same time, though, we feel positively inundated by the number of home safety products on the market. How do you strike a balance between having way too little and having way too much?
The truth is, there’s basically always something more we could be doing to protect ourselves and our homes. There’s another product we could buy (or, conversely, avoid buying). There’s another hazard we could research. There’s another change we could make. Perfection may feel perpetually out of reach, but that doesn’t mean we should stop trying.
Those smoke and carbon monoxide detectors we mentioned? Colleen Driscoll, Executive Director of the International Association for Child Safety, Inc. (IAFCS), recommends conducting regular home safety checks to make sure every detector, alarm, and safety device is behaving exactly as it should be. And Bob O’Brien, retired FDNY firefighter and International Fire and Life Safety Experts partner member, emphasizes the importance of crafting — and regularly rehearsing — a fire safety plan with your family.
It’s also wise to teach children how and when to dial 9-1-1, Debra Holtzman, national child safety expert and author of The Safe Baby, tells SheKnows. “Post emergency telephone numbers on the refrigerator, and program them into your cell phone.” Steps like these may seem simple, but they can have an outsized impact when a disaster actually does arise.
Not to mention, there are tons of home safety products out there that are decidedly meaningful — that can make more than a minor impact in improving the safety of our homes, according to these same home safety experts. Single purchases — like fully-stocked first aid kits, disaster supplies, and window guards — really can make a big difference. Plus, they can leave you feeling like you’ve gone a step beyond the smoke detector and fire extinguisher, without forcing you to snap up every niche product on the market.