Safety Items For Home – 18+ Items You Should Own

Did you know that in 2019, 215 lives were lost to fires in homes, not to mention the other accidental deaths that occurred?

Research shows that if you don’t have functional safety devices such as smoke alarms in your home, you’re about eight times more likely to lose your life. 

Below is a list of safety items for the home that you should own that I have put together through my years and experience in home security:

1. Smoke Detectors

smoke detectors

Smoke alarms are a crucial factor when it comes to home security. Home fires usually go unseen until they are out of control. A fire alarm will sound instantly when a fire occurs, giving you adequate time to put it out before it spreads.

I recommend examining them at least once a season, but better once a month. Your smoke detectors might as well not be there if they aren’t working.

There are two main types of smoke detectors: ionization smoke and photoelectric smoke detectors.

Ionization smoke detectors use a small amount of radioactive material to ionize air in the detection chamber. When smoke enters the chamber, it disrupts the flow of ions, triggering the alarm. These detectors are best at detecting fast-flaming fires.

Photoelectric smoke detectors use a light source and a sensor to detect smoke. When smoke enters the chamber, it scatters the light, causing the sensor to detect the change and trigger the alarm. These detectors are best at detecting smoldering fires.

2. Carbon Monoxide Detectors

carbon monoxide detector

In 2020, odorless, colorless, and tasteless gases killed 300 people and sent thousands more to the hospital.

Carbon monoxide is an odorless, colorless, and tasteless gas that requires a CO detector to recognize. It can create serious, potentially life-threatening health problems if it accumulates throughout your household. (1)

It helps if you have carbon monoxide detectors in your home. These safety devices are necessary to verify that no harmful gasses are present.

To be safe, keep one near any gas appliances in your home. Carbon monoxide gas is a silent killer you can’t see or smell, and a detector can save your life.

3. Radon Detector/Kit

radon detector

According to a report from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), radon gas is the second-largest cause of lung cancer in the United States, second only to smoking. It accounts for around 21,000 lung cancer-related deaths every year. (2)

Radon is a dangerous radioactive gas inhaled by people and animals in high concentrations.

A radon detector is a safety device you should have in your house. Using a radon gas detector or radon detection kit, you can avoid unwanted exposure to these hazardous gases.

4. Night Lights

night light

You can avoid late-night accidents (For example, if someone needs to get up in the middle of the night to use the bathroom, a nightlight can help them see where they are going and avoid tripping over furniture or other objects that may be in their path.) using simple, low-cost night lights. Remember to keep night lights away from flammable textiles such as bedspreads.

Furthermore, purchase new night lights that include mini-neon bulbs that are more aesthetically pleasing. Most businesses also sell cutting-edge plug-ins that illuminate the dark and fade as the day progresses. For better safety, you should ensure that your rooms have appropriate lighting.

5. Motion Sensor Lights

motion sensor light

Many police agencies and security professionals advise installing motion-sensor lights as a deterrent against nocturnal attackers for a reason.

These energy-efficient bulbs cast a bright light on would-be burglars, deterring those who prefer to commit crimes in the dark. Installing motion-sensor lights also provides safe passage to anyone entering a home late at night.

Moreover, you may install a sensor to replace existing lamps without extra wiring, which is great for energy savings. 

6. Slip-Resistant Throw Rugs

throw rug

A suction-type rubber mat or adhesive-backed rug will keep you steady in the shower stall and bathtub. A non-slip mat will prevent slipping when you step out of the tub.

I highly recommend using slip-resistant rugs throughout your home to prevent accidents.

7. Bathroom Grab Bars

grab bars

You can prevent yourself from slipping when taking a bath using grab bars. Grip a grab bar on the wall when getting in and out of the tub.

They are available at most hardware stores. You should secure them with long screws into the wall studs, not just the plaster, tile, or wallboard.

8. Smart Locks

smart locks

Upgrade your door’s regular lock with a smart lock. You won’t have to worry about misplacing your keys or hiding them in the flower pot for visitors. You may also use the app to regulate access to your house by locking, unlocking, and changing other settings.

9. Deadbolt Locks

deadbolt lock

Most often, burglars select targets. Crooks will recognize that you take appropriate measures to protect doors and windows, and they will most likely search for another location for entry.

You may secure your front door if you want to avoid break-ins. Numerous options exist, but a dependable and long-lasting lock is crucial.

Furthermore, a desperate burglar will always look for other entry points to break inside your house.

Installing a deadbolt lock on your home’s doors is one of the best ways to secure your home’s entry points. Request a pick- and drill-resistant deadbolt lock from the locksmith. It would be best to consider investing in robust doors; a good lock is useless on a flimsy door.

10. Ground-Fault Circuit Interrupters

circuit intteruptor

Ground faults develop when a low-resistance grounding path comes from a broken tool or electrical system.

These devices are one of the safety items you should have to improve the safety inside your house. The ground-fault circuit interrupter, or GFCI, is an incredibly quick circuit breaker that can switch off power generation in as little as 1/40 of a second in the case of a ground fault.

Although GFCIs are standard in most new homes, older ones are not. You can replace your outlets for $9-$13 or purchase portable GFCIs for $12-$30.

11. Fire Extinguishers

fire

Time is crucial when it comes to home fires. In a worst-case scenario, fire can become life-threatening in just a few minutes.

Although a fire extinguisher may not be the most exciting or appealing addition to your home, it is an essential safety item that might save your life.

Please place it in a convenient location so you can put out a fire quickly and effectively, or at the very least contain the flames while your family flees to safety.

Most people don’t know how to use these devices when needed, so here’s a quick guide.

  1. Start by pulling out the safety pin: This will activate the fire extinguisher and make it ready to use.
  2. Aim it at the base of the fire: Direct the nozzle of the extinguisher towards the source of the fire, where it’s feeding on fuel.
  3. Squeeze the handle to release the extinguishing agent: You’ll find a handle or lever on the fire extinguisher that you need to squeeze to release the fire-fighting substance.
  4. Move the extinguisher back and forth: Cover as much of the fire as you can by sweeping the fire extinguisher from side to side.
  5. Get out if the fire is not out: If the fire is still burning, quickly evacuate the area and call for help. Don’t try to fight a too large fire or spread too quickly.

It’s important to remember that different fire extinguishers are meant for different types of fires, so check the label on your extinguisher to know what it’s suitable for. It’s also a good idea to practice using a fire extinguisher before an emergency occurs.

12. First-Aid Kit

first aid kit

Accidents do occur. So you should keep a basic first aid kit in your household because you never know when you might need it.

Your first-aid kits should have the following safety essentials:

  1. Antiseptic ointment
  2. Bandages and gauze pads in various sizes
  3. Adhesive tape
  4. Cold packs
  5. Disposable gloves
  6. Hand cleanser
  7. Scissors and tweezers
  8. Ipecac syrup
  9. Eyewash

Check expiration dates and refill as needed. Also, you need some basic training on how to deal with injuries.

13. Fire-Safe Window Guards

fire safe window guards

Every year, children die or suffer significant injuries due to falls from windows. Screens are primarily designed to keep pests out, so don’t rely on them to keep you safe from falling. 

A straightforward way to keep your family safe is to lock your windows, especially when not in use. Window protectors must include a release mechanism so you can open them in an emergency. For correct placement, contact your local fire department.

14. Evacuation Plan

evacuation plan

Proper preparation prevents accidents from taking place. All families must plan for and drill for all types of emergencies. Planning an evacuation plan might come in handy. You should know how to get out of your house quickly and avoid becoming trapped. Include two exits in each room in your home. Before a genuine catastrophe strikes, practice an evacuation strategy with your family. (3)

Here’s how you can create a home evacuation plan:

  1. Take a tour of your home and figure out two exits from every room: Make sure windows can be used as exits and aren’t blocked or locked.
  2. Plan your escape route: Come up with the quickest and safest way to evacuate from each room and house. Make sure everyone in the house knows these escape routes.
  3. Decide on a meeting spot: Pick a place outside your home where everyone should go after evacuating. This spot should be far from the house, like a nearby neighbor’s place or park.
  4. Practice the plan: Hold a fire drill at least once a year to practice the evacuation plan. Everyone should know what to do and how to evacuate.
  5. Keep the plan updated: Check and update the evacuation plan regularly, especially if anything in the house changes, like adding new rooms or furniture.
  6. Educate everyone: Teach everyone in the house, including children, what to do in case of a fire or any other emergency. Teach them to call 911 and ensure they know the house’s address and phone number.

A well-thought-out evacuation plan can be a lifesaver and prevent injury in an emergency.

15. Disaster or Supplies Kit

disaster supplies kit

A disaster might occur when you likely do not expect it. To be prepared for the worst-case scenario, you must always have an emergency supply kit. Organizing a disaster kit is one way to do it.

You may take this kit with you in the event of an issue. 

Always remember to include the following items:

  1. Nonperishable food
  2. Water
  3. Cash
  4. Flashlights
  5. Tools
  6. Battery-operated NOAA all-hazard alert radio
  7. First-aid

You may also keep this emergency supply Kit in a car or unlocked garage to save time evacuating.

16. NOAA All-Hazard Alert Radio

weather radio

This radio is handy in a natural disaster, such as a tornado, storm, earthquake, or another disaster. You’ll hear the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s frequency, which will include instructions on whether or not to stay at home, when to leave, and the status of the emergency. You can find these kinds of radios at a neighborhood electronics store.

Here’s how to make use of one:

  1. Please turn it on: Hit the power button to turn on the radio.
  2. Pick your alert preferences: Some radios let you choose which alerts you want to receive, like severe weather alerts or Amber alerts. Make sure you’ve selected the alerts that matter to you.
  3. Test it out: Many radios have a test feature that lets you check if it’s working correctly. This is a good way to get familiar with the sounds and notifications of the alerts.
  4. Please pay attention to the alerts: When the radio gets an emergency alert, it’ll make a loud and unique tone, followed by a message about the emergency. Listen carefully to the whole message to get all the emergency details.

17. Emergency Phone Numbers

emergency phone number

The American Association of Poison Control Centers has developed a national number that anyone can call to contact their nearest poison control center. The number is 800-222-1222. Please make a list and post it near every phone in the house.

You should include in the list the local police and fire departments, as well as your physician. You may also have the phone numbers of friends and relatives and the number for your local health center.

Here’s a list of the most used emergency phone numbers:

Emergency TypePhone Number
Emergency services (Police, Fire, Ambulance)911 (US), 112 (EU), 999 (UK)
Poison control1-800-222-1222 (US)
National Domestic Violence Hotline1-800-799-SAFE (7233) (US)
Suicide Prevention Hotline1-800-273-TALK (8255) (US)
National Sexual Assault Hotline1-800-656-HOPE (4673) (US)
National Child Abuse Hotline1-800-4-A-CHILD (422-4453) (US)
Medical emergencyCall the nearest hospital and ask for the emergency department.

18. Tested Appliances

certified seal

A recognized testing institution, such as Underwriters Laboratories, the Canadian Standards Association, or the American Gas Association, should certify your gas or electricity appliances.

InstitutionDescription
Underwriters Laboratories (UL)American global safety science company certifies a wide range of appliances.
IntertekGlobal quality assurance provider certifying a wide range of products
Canadian Standards Association (CSA)Canadian-based organization certifying appliances and other products for safety and performance.
ETL Listed (Intertek)Certification mark from Intertek indicating a product has met North American safety and performance standards
Energy StarA joint program between the US EPA and DOE certifying appliances for energy efficiency
International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC)Swiss-based organization developing and publishing global standards for electrical, electronic, and related technologies.
European Conformity (CE)Mandatory European marking indicating conformity with health, safety, and environmental protection standards

19. Safety Ladder

safety ladder

Even though we all hope we never have to experience the destruction and loss of life that a house fire may bring, preparing ourselves is still necessary.

An emergency ladder could save your life if something terrible happens. Consider buying a multistory model and storing it somewhere accessible, perhaps near a window, so you or your family may safely and rapidly escape the house in the event of a fire.

Types of Emergency Ladders:

Type of LadderDescription
Escape LadderThe portable ladder can easily be attached to a window to escape a fire quickly. Available in different lengths to fit different floor heights.
Rope LadderMade of rope and can be thrown out of a window for climbing down in an emergency.
Fire Escape StairsStairs designed for emergency exits in a fire. It can be installed outside or inside a building.
Portable Fire Escape LadderThe compact ladder can be kept near a window and easily deployed in an emergency.






References
(1) Carbon monoxide – https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/carbon-monoxide-poisoning/
(2) lung cancer – https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/lung-cancer/symptoms-causes/syc-20374620
(3) evacuation plan – https://www.osha.gov/etools/evacuation-plans-procedures

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About John Fox

ebbb364ee14268bd3b77496cab3d1d78?s=90&d=mm&r=gCertifications: Certified Alarm Technician (CAT)
Education: Denver Security Academy
Lives In: Denver Colorado

John Fox has worked as a security consultant in Denver for over 20 years.
With Safe Now, he's taken those two decades of experience and decided to share it to help people online make the right security decisions for their businesses and families.

John writes security tips and guides, product recommendations, and prevention guides.

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