More than just real estate

Disaster planning for your new home

You just moved into your dream home and have plenty on your mind, like where to place the couch and whether you should change the paint color in the guest bathroom. But don’t let these tasks distract you from making your household prepared for an emergency.

You want your home and those within it to be protected from day one. Taking care of disaster preparedness early means you can focus your time and energy on all of your other move-in tasks with peace of mind.

Consider these recommendations:

  • Smoke out fire hazards. Keep a fire extinguisher, one that works on any kind of fire, handy in the kitchen, which is the most common site for home fires.  The Home Safety Council recommends placing smoke detectors on every floor of the home, including the basement and near sleeping areas. Test them monthly and change the batteries twice a year – the changing of the clocks is a good reminder.
  • Chemical matters. Carbon monoxide (CO) is a deadly gas we cannot see or smell, so CO detectors are best positioned near bedrooms and the furnace to warn when the gas collects in high levels. It is required by state law to have at least one detector in your home. Also find a secure place for medicines and household cleaners to keep these substances out of reach of children.  
  • Road map. Create safety plans for your new home and make sure every member of the family is on board. Outline escape routes from bedrooms, be sure everyone knows how to unlock doors and windows, and create a common spot for emergency phone numbers such as fire, police and poison control.

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