Preventing Child Injuries:
16 Things You Can Do Today to Improve Child Safety in the Home

Creating a safe home is a whole lot simpler than parents think.

Preventing childhood injuries and childproofing your home is about being proactive, recognizing potential issues, and acting as soon as you see them. If you’re a new parent and you have no idea where to start, we’ve handled that part for you! Below, we’ve listed 16 simple ways you can make your home safer in just a few minutes. Let’s get started!

#1: Remove Hidden Dangers from Your Home by Checking Product Recalls

Child with ToyTask Time: 15 minutes (plus an errand if you want a refund!)

Recalled products can contain choking hazards or design flaws that make them risky for children. Despite the risks, around 90% of recalled items remain in U.S. homes! Thankfully, the government has provided a multitude of awesome tools so you can be aware of any dangerous items in your house. Use this tip to clear your clutter while getting rid of any hazardous toys around the house.

For this tip, you’ll need the following items:

  • Writing tool
  • Paper
  • Internet access
  • Willingness to de-clutter

Step 1

Take a few minutes and gather up your child’s favorite toys, plus any new ones from birthdays or holidays. Get a notebook and a pen and write down the company name and the name of the toy.

Step 2

Once you have a list of manufacturers and toy titles, visit the recalls page of the Consumer Product Safety Commission and search the toy titles and manufacturer names in their recall database. If any of your kid’s items were recalled for any reason, the CPSC site will give you the date it was recalled and the risks it poses.

Step 3

If you own any product on their list of recalls, immediately put the toy in a high, out-of-sight place away from your child. The good news is that you may be able to exchange the recalled item for a refund or for a revised version of the product. You can try to find the receipt or packaging, but most stores are willing to help you with recalled items regardless of proof of purchase. If you bring the item back to where it was bought, the manager may be able to provide a suitable replacement or give you your money back.

This tip doesn’t just apply to toys!

Your can make sure you’re feeding your children healthy foods by repeating the same process on the FDA’s recall site. Write a list of the food your child eats most often and who produces it, and run your list through the FDA’s search tool. Throw away any food that appears on the list—especially any food that contains undeclared allergen foods. This whole process is pretty simple and only takes about 10 or 15 minutes. After you’re done, you’ll have protected your child from choking hazards, allergic reactions, and other common risks.

Check out a comprehensive list of recall databases (for food, meat, dairy, products, cars, and more) on the USA.gov recall page.

#2: Avoid Nasty Bumps & Bruises with Decorative Glass Door Markers

Child at Glass DoorTask Time: 2 minutes to buy. 10 minutes spent with your kids!

Kids like to run around. Much to parents’ frustration and stress, they often run without looking where they’re going, which can cause serious home accidents. Babies, especially, will walk headfirst into all kinds of obstacles—particularly when they don’t grasp what an obstacle is! Let’s make sure your kids don’t make the same mistake by making them pause before hitting any glass doors or mirrors.

For this tip, you’ll need the following items:

  • Colorful stickers
  • Your children’s attention

Step 1

The first step of the tip is pretty simple: buy some stickers. The more colorful, the better!

There’s a whole range of stickers out there, from the corporately-branded to the Disney-approved, to more general interests and shapes. You can get them at any stationary, grocery, or toy store, but online shopping is often the most convenient option for busy parents. If your child is on hand and has an opinion, let them pick something they like!

Step 2

Once you have your stickers, lead your child to wherever there is a glass door or transparent obstacle in your home. The next step is fun: let them go to town! Letting them put stickers on the glass doors reinforces that there’s a barrier there, but it also satisfies that craving for decorative vandalism all children seem to get. (Fun Fact: Window stickers are way less permanent than sharpies!) Having your kids do it themselves also makes sure that the stickers are at eye-level for them.

Now that your glass doors have colorful, child-friendly warning signals, your kids will be far more likely to stop when running by.

More importantly, they’ll be sure to stop and look for the stickers when they walk through the doorway, keeping them from bumping their heads.

#3: Prevent Accidental Scalding by Lowering the Hot Water Temperature

Kid Washing VegetablesTask Time: Around 10 minutes (with a two-hour waiting gap in the middle)

Want to know the leading cause of hospital admissions for burns? Since you’ve probably read the title of this section, you guessed right—it is hot water. Hot water is responsible for 3,800 burn injuries a year, particularly among seniors and children under 5. The problem is that most water heaters are set to 140 degrees Fahrenheit—great for sterilizing dishes, not so great for bathing children. Follow these simple steps to lower your water heater’s settings to make water safe!

For this tip, you’ll need the following items:

  • A sharpie
  • A regular thermometer
  • A phone (or a notebook)
  • About 5-10 minutes

Follow these steps:

  1. 1) Find the faucet that is furthest away from your water heater (it’ll have the lowest heat).
  2. 2) Turn on the hot water to its maximum setting for a couple of minutes.
  3. 3) Check the temperature with your thermometer—write it down in your phone!
  4. 4) Find your water heater. The thermostat is a dial near the bottom of your water heater tank.
  5. 5) Mark the current temperature by drawing a line on the dial with your sharpie.
  6. 6) Turn the temperature down.
  7. 7) Wait about 2 or 3 hours.
  8. 8) Repeat steps 1-3.

Ideally, you’ll want the temperature of the water to max out at 120 degrees Fahrenheit.

David Lawrence, the Director for the Center for Injury Prevention Policy and Practice, cites a study where the results found that “lower water temperatures [between 120 and 130 Fahrenheit] did not present other types of problems for consumers, such as not enough hot water or the inability to adequately clean clothes or dishes.”

120 degrees is hot enough to kill most any household bacteria while remaining low enough that your children will be able to safely enjoy hot baths or showers. The secondary benefit of this tip is the lower water temperature will slow down any corrosion, extending the lifespan of your pipes. Protect your kids while saving your plumbing!

#4: Keep Home Fires at Bay with Simple Stove Knob Covers

Stove KnobsTask Time: 2-20 minutes to buy (online or in-person), 5 minutes to install.

Having a home filled with convenient, easy-to-use machines is a whole other trap when you have kids. Especially kids who don’t understand the concept of “hot,” “dangerous,” or “carbon monoxide.” If you have a gas stove with knobs (like virtually every homeowner or renter in the U.S.), there’s an easy and inexpensive way to make sure your kids can’t accidentally turn on your burners.

For this tip, you’ll need the following items:

  • Stove dial covers

Stove knob covers are essentially plastic shells that keep your stove dials from turning (unless an adult opens them). They’re usually $7-9, and any big-box store will have them. Amazon sells them of course, but you can also find them at Babies-R-Us, Target, Walmart, and similar places.

Installing them only takes a couple minutes:

  • Pull off your dials (make sure not to turn on the gas accidentally).
  • Place the plastic housing where the knob sits.
  • Push the knob back on within the plastic housing.
  • Watch your child struggle to turn the dial to no avail!

For 8 bucks and a short trip to the neighborhood Walmart, you can prevent your kids from ever burning themselves on the stove (until they’re 22 and learning to cook, anyway).

#5: Soften the Blow of Furniture Collisions with Cushioned Corner Guards

Children at FurnitureTask Time: 10 minutes total.

Parents of toddlers and adventurous babies often see their own homes as the equivalent of the inside of a tiger’s mouth: nothing but sharp edges and terrifying, pointy angles. Thankfully, (aside from the fact that they are likely suffering from lack of sleep), it’s pretty easy to make sure your furniture corners are perfectly safe for your child to test out with his or her forehead.

For this tip, you’ll need the following items:

  • Counting app (or pen and paper)
  • Corner cushions / bumpers
  • Inventory of your home’s furniture

Walk around your home with your phone or a pen and notebook and make a mark for every sharp corner at your child’s eye level (or lower). Thin or sharp edges are worth counting too! Corner cushions are soft pads or bumpers that can be used on coffee tables, counter tops, entertainment centers, dressers, and more—if it has a corner, you can install a guard.

Once you have a number (starting with the living room, kitchen, and your child’s bedroom), you can go ahead and order furniture cushion guards in bulk. There’s a wide variety of edge and corner guards out there, from 18-packs of foam corner guards to circular, non-foam bumpers that turn everything into a rounded edge.

Packs vary in price from $9 to $12, depending on how many of them you’ll need.

Installing them takes literally seconds. For adhesive ones, the steps are:

  • Peel adhesive strips
  • Place on corners

That’s it. Seriously. That is all you need to enhance child safety at home.

#6: Protect Small Fingers in with Finger-Pinch Guards

Child Closing a DoorTask Time: 3-30 minutes, depending on the model you choose.

Little kids like putting their fingers anywhere they’ll fit: door hinges, electrical sockets, their noses, etc. Unfortunately, they often put them inside places that open and close, pinching or breaking their tiny fingers. Thankfully, there’s a quick and amazingly simple fix for it: finger-pinch guards! These foam bumpers can make sure your child’s curiosity doesn’t end up damaging his or hands.

For this tip, you’ll need the following items:

  • Pen
  • Paper

Step 1

Find out where in your home there are small, open-and-closing spaces. If you have folding closet doors, for example, the space between the doors is a common place for children to pinch their fingers on accident. Take a look at high-traffic areas first. What rooms do your kids spend the most time? Where is your baby exploring the most? When it comes to kids, high-traffic = most risk.

Write down each type of closing space you have and how many (i.e. closet hinges vs. door hinges vs. screen doors). This step will make buying them easier and more efficient.

Step 2

Develop a budget that you’ll want to spend on finger pinch guards. You can find them for less than $5 at Walmart, Home Depot, Babies-R-Us, and Amazon, of course. There are also multiple types, with $3 animal design foam pieces to $24 door guards (with a premium $75 dollar model as well).

Use your preference—each kind comes with its own advantages.

  • Foam guards are simple and fast, but don’t allow doors to close.
  • Hinge guards (like the foamed ones at the link here) provide the same level of safety while allowing you to use the door normally.

If you have several different areas you need to address, then buying simple varieties of pinch guards will make for an easier and more affordable project. If you have only two or three particularly high-traffic areas, then spending a little extra to have a functional door might be worth it for you.

Step 3

Buy the guards. Online sources will insist on charging more for shipping than the item costs, so if you’re ordering online, try to buy it with other items to cut down on expenses.

Step 4

Install them on every door your child has access to. Most pinch guards simply clamp onto doors without any adhesive. Foam pinch guards will keep doors from completely closing, so try not to put them anywhere you would want some privacy. Many hinge guards don’t require any screws or tools to install. Some models come with self-tapping screws, which means all you’ll need is a screw driver or a drill, while other models use adhesive—all you’ll need for better safety for kids are careful hands and a few minutes’ time.

#7: Give the Slip to Slippery Situations by Securing Your Rugs

Children on the RugTask Time: 15-30 minutes, depending on the furniture that’s on or near your rug

While rugs are a pretty way to bring comfort to a hard floor, they also add a slipping hazard. Anytime you buy a rug (or if you have a rug already), you’ll want to buy a non-slip pad to place under it. Children often have the ability to run well before they have the sense of self-preservation not to run across slippery areas—but all you need is one simple purchase for accident prevention!

For this tip, you’ll need the following items:

  • An extra pair of hands
  • Rug pad (obviously)

Step 1

Find the type of rug pad you need! There are few different varieties: felt or carpet padding adds an extra layer of cushion and insulation to your rug. However, the safest option is a rubber rug pad, which provides enough friction to completely keep your rug from slipping or bunching up.

Try to get a pad that’s only a couple inches smaller than your rug on each side.

Going too small will wear out the edges of your carpet well before the rest of it. While the size doesn’t have to be exact, going a little larger than you need allows you to trim it.

Step 2

Set aside your coffee table or any other furniture sitting on your rug.

Step 3

Set down your rubber or felt pad. Make sure it’s lying completely flat and tight. Give yourself a few inches on each side for the rug’s size.

Step 4

Place the rug back down as centered as possible. Try to have a friend or family member hold the other end of the rug to ensure that it lies flat on the pad.

Walk from the center outward to flatten it out and help it settle on the pad.

Step 5

Put the furniture back, and you’re done! Safety for children in your home is less than one hour away.

#8: Keep Your Windows Open with Total Peace of Mind

Child Looking Out the WindowTask Time: An afternoon of solid attention (or just a few minutes to start)

Pediatrics, the official journal of the American Academy of Pediatrics, published a study in 2011 about children and window injuries. An average of 5,180 children were injured every year from window-related accidents during the study, and 82.8% of them were in windows that had screens on them! Fortunately, there are plenty of more effective ways to secure your windows!

For this tip, you’ll need the following items:

  • An extra pair of hands
  • Creative arrangement skills
  • Window locks
  • Window guards (for warm weather)
  • Screwdriver / electric drill

Step 1

Move furniture away from your window. Smaller children are climbers, and they’re often more ingenious and resourceful than we realize. Keeping window areas clear of any furniture lessens the risk that your child will even attempt to climb, much less succeed.

Step 2

Buy window locks or window guards.

  • Window locks are small plastic or metal barriers that adhere to your windows.
    When folded down, they keep your windows from completely opening. These are around $8 and are a perfect way to quickly protect your kids from opening windows enough to climb through them. When folded up, they allow the window to open fully. These also include models with rubber cables that accomplish the same thing.

  • Window guards are durable steel bars that can adapt to different window sizes.
    The space between the bars is no larger than 4”, so children can’t squeeze between the bars. The model we linked to has two safety-release buttons, so adults and older children can remove the bars in seconds when there’s an emergency. Depending on the size of your windows, these range in price from $50 to $140.

The additional advantage to window guards is they allow you to open your windows fully while remaining completely safe—this is ideal for hot summers.

Step 3

Install your window lock or guard.

For window locks:

  1. 1. Wash your window with rubbing alcohol.
  2. 2. Peel the adhesive strips on the lock (or screw in, depending on the model).
  3. 3. Place the lock firmly and allow to set.

For window guards:

  1. 1. Use a screwdriver or drill to install the end-pieces to your window sill.
  2. 2. Install the bars on one end piece, then the other.
  3. 3. Confidently open the window as wide as you like!

With a few minutes of time and a quick run to Walmart, Target, or an online store, you can make sure your windows are completely safe for even the strongest, most daring child.

#9: Develop a Safe Home with a New Kind of Organization System

Child at the CounterTask Time: An hour per room

Your habits have been developed through years of not having a child in the house—which means you’re still organizing your home out of those habits. While you may think dangerous objects are out of reach, chances are they’re more accessible than you think. The best way to keep your home safe is to develop a new system of organization and stick to it. Below, we help you develop one.

For this tip, you’ll need the following items:

  • An hour or two of focused attention
  • Pen and paper
  • Clear counter or table space
  • The willingness to reorganize!

Step 1

Create a plan of attack! Sit down, get your pen and notebook, and set up a series of steps (like the one we’re showing you now). Pick particular rooms that you’ll start with, such as the bathroom or the kitchen. You’ll be able to spot or remember hazards more clearly when you zero in on smaller spaces. Break it down even further if you like—map out what drawers you’ll start with in your kitchen.

Step 2

For each room, take out each item in your cabinets or drawers. Lay out each item on an empty table or surface so you can see it all at once. Create a “Yes” and “No” pile. For each item, ask yourself if you are comfortable letting your child play with it unsupervised. Arrange into piles accordingly.

Step 3

Throw away things you don’t use or need. Seriously, this makes every subsequent step a million percent easier. De-cluttering your home means you get rid the hazardous items you don’t need—it also allows you to keep closer track of the “No” items you do keep. One good guide is a 12-month rule: if you haven’t used it in a year, throw it out.

Step 4

Here’s the hard part—be mercilessly organized according to safety. This is more difficult than it looks at first. You’re used to organizing by type (hair products there, hygiene here, etc.) or even by how often you use the item. Instead, organize by hazard: all “No” items in upper cabinets or high shelving. Do not compromise here! Even if it doesn’t make sense at first to put your razors next to your mouthwash in an upper cabinet or shelf, or your steak knives near your peeler, that’s what organizing by safety looks like.

Step 5

Place all harmless or low-risk items in the leftover space. If you can, try to separate out your items by cabinet or drawer. If you can’t, go by height or accessibility. Putting all safe items into particular areas means you can put cabinet locks on the rest of your storage spaces more easily.

Step 6

Stick to your organizational plan. Do not get into the habit of putting things where they are easy to grab.

The point is to make getting dangerous items harder—it defeats the purpose if you make it easier for yourself! With just a little bit of time and ingenuity, you can completely revamp the way your home is organized, de-clutter your most important spaces, and make sure your entire home is safe for your kids to play in!

#10: Keep Trash in the Trash by Securing Your Kitchen’s Garbage Can

Kid at the Trash CanTask Time: 15-20 minutes

Children love colors, shapes, and textures, often without discernment—which is why they often turn to your garbage in order to find new things to play with. Unfortunately, the “colorful” and “shiny” items in your trash can include raw meat, open cans, and other potentially dangerous items. This tip will help you keep your garbage secure without sacrificing convenience!

For this tip, you’ll need the following items:

  • An empty cabinet
  • Cabinet lock
  • Self-locking trash can

Simple Fix #1

If you have organizational skill or a cabinet you never seem to use, empty it out to put your trash can inside. Keeping your trash can inside a cabinet keeps it out of sight for your kids, and allows you to use a cabinet lock when you’re not around. Bonus: it also clears up your floorspace!

You can even install your own kit if you don’t have a cabinet drawer already set up.

Simple Fix #2

If you have a bit more budget and no more cabinet space, buy a trash can with a self-locking lid. These latches are durable and make sure that your children won’t be able to simply open the lid. Warning though: if your child figures it out, the advantage is gone. Make sure you’re teaching proper kitchen safety, and depend on the latch as a last resort.

#11: Prevent Choking Injuries by Removing Small Toys

Child with ToysTask Time: only 20-30 minutes, depending on the number of your child’s toys

Earlier in this list, we mentioned the ability to check recalled products and toys online. Taking that step can help you get rid of every overtly dangerous toy your children own, but it’s far from the only step you can take. This tip will require a bit more hands-on work and some creative thinking.

For this tip, you’ll need the following items:

  • A garbage bag
  • Your child’s toy bin
  • Toilet paper tube

Step 1

Put all of your child’s small toys into a pile. Spread them out as much as is convenient.

Step 2

One by one, inspect each toy for small or detachable parts. If any toys already have bite marks, check for wear.

For battery-powered toys, make sure the battery compartment is secured with screws.

Check for toys that have pieces that could potentially break off or snap off—consider throwing these away outright, but at least keep an eye on them.

Step 3

For smaller toys or parts, place them inside the toilet paper tube. If they can fit inside the toilet paper roll, then they can likely fit down your child’s windpipe.

If you have an official choke tube for small-parts testers, all the better! For this tip, a toilet paper roll will do the job just as well.

Step 4

Place all loose parts or toys that fit in the tube into the garbage bag. Then, throw them away!

There you go! In just a few minutes, you’ve purged your child’s toys of all potential choking hazards.

You should be left with a cache of large, durable toys that cannot fit inside your child’s mouth or are impossible to swallow.

#12: Prevent Strangulation by Replacing Blind Cords

Blind CordsTask Time: around 10 minutes

The United States’ standards for window and blind cords are the strictest in the world; however, many homes do not have new blinds or meet the safety standards. Long or looped cords create a strangulation hazard for small children. Short of replacing your blinds with a cordless system, our tips give you a great way to make your window dressings safer in a short amount of time!

For this tip, you’ll need the following items:

  • Scissors
  • Internet access
  • Screwdriver
  • Nimble fingers

Step 1

Determine the kind of blind cord system you have. These can include:

  • Looped pull cords
  • Continuous loops (with beaded chain)
  • Exposed inner (lifting) cords

When you know what sort of system you have, you can figure out what kind of retrofit it needs.

Step 2

Get the parts you need to fix your blinds. Here’s a great resource: the Window Covering Safety Council offers free kits to make older blinds safer for your kids and eliminate the possibility of strangulation. Each kit provides everything you need to make your blinds or shades safer, and you can order as many as you need!

If you don’t want to wait for a kit from the WCSC, here is a page outlining retrofit instructions for all types of blinds, shades, and drape cords.

Step 3

Retrofit your blinds. It’s a lot easier than you might think—it generally requires using scissors and knots in order to shorten or separate your cords and keep them out of reach.

For example, for looped pull cords (from pre-1995 blinds):

  • Cut the looped cord so that it becomes two separate cords.
  • Insert each cord through a safety tassel.
  • Tie a knot at the end of each cord to secure in tassel.

Alternative fix: If you’re not confident enough to alter your blinds, buy a cord cleat. They’re available at Home Depot, Lowe’s, and any other home improvement store for a dollar or two. Cord cleats simply screw into the wall next to your blinds, and you wrap your cords around them to keep them out of reach.

#13: Keep Cleaning Materials Locked Up with Cabinet Latches

Task Time: 10-15 minutes

Keeping kids out of your cabinets not only keeps them safe, but gives you peace of mind about storing dangerous household chemicals. While you can do everything you can to limit hazardous materials or keep them out of sight, a simple latch can help ensure your kids can’t touch any of your cleaning supplies (or anything else you want to keep away)!

For this tip, you’ll need the following items:

  • Drill
  • Nail or pen
  • Screwdriver
  • Plastic catch latches

Step 1

Buy plastic catches for each cabinet you need secured. These are available virtually everywhere, including Target, Walmart, Home Depot, Lowe’s, or other home supply stores. They come in packs, often priced at less than a dollar each.

Step 2

Place the catch within an inch of the edge of the cabinet door. Using the nail or the pen, mark where you’ll need to drill holes. Some latches come with adhesive to tape them to the door, but don’t depend on these—they’re simply to help with placement.

Step 3

Drill holes where you marked them. Use a drill-bit size that matches the screws you got with your latch set (often 5/16”).

Pre-drilling the holes will help ensure that you don’t crack the wood.

Step 4

Screw in the catch. Screw one it loosely at first, then screw in the other. Once they’re both in and you’ve centered the catch, tighten them.

Step 5

With your fingers, place the latch piece on the door. Match it up to the catch as precisely as possible. Repeat step 2-4.

Step 6

Test out the door (you can even invite your kid to try opening the cabinet!).

Get creative! Simpler models of latches can work on toilets, microwaves, and anywhere else you want to keep your child away from.

#14: Corral Kids & Keep Them Off the Stairs by Buying Safety Gates

Child at a Safety GateTask Time: 15 minutes

Children younger than a year or so require a great deal of constant attention, especially when you have stairs. To make that easier, install safety gates to keep them where they need to be! Safety gates keep children from climbing the stairs and help you keep babies in the safest parts of your home. You can also protect sensitive parts of your home, like offices or rooms for hosting.

For this tip, you’ll need the following items:

  • Pen
  • Notebook
  • Tape measure

Step 1

Measure the doorways of every room you want to keep your baby in or out of. Write them all down!

Step 2

Measure your baby’s height. To really be ahead of the game, measure the average height of babies that are older than your child by several months.

Step 3

Consider whether you want a tension-mounted or fixed safety gate. Fixed safety gates are more stable, but they can’t be moved as easily as tension-mounted gates. They are screwed into the wall, providing a semi-permanent option if you need to keep a room secure 24/7.

Tension gates work like shower rods, using pressure on each side to keep the gate in place. They are highly portable, which means you can buy one and move it around the house as needed. Consumer Reports urges parents to never use tension or pressure gates at the top of stairs—only the bottom.

Step 4

Shop for a baby gate that meets the height and width requirements of your home. Many gates are adjustable within certain ranges, so you’ll likely have plenty of options. Today, there are even different finishes and materials available to new parents to match their home’s decor.

For more information about choosing the right safety gate, read Consumer Reports buying guide for parents.

#15: Keep Fingers Out of Harm’s Way with Electrical Outlet Covers

Task Time: 2 minutes (if that).

Curious kids are usually good at puzzles—particularly ones that require putting block shapes into corresponding holes. Unfortunately, they may apply the same game to dangerous electrical outlets with pieces of metal. Electrical outlet covers are a few dollars at most, prevent electrocution or severe burns, and takes only seconds of your time per outlet.

Step 1

Count every single outlet in your home that’s accessible to your child.

Step 2

Go to Home Depot, Lowe’s, Babies R Us, Walmart, Target, or online to find a pack of electrical cover outlets. There’s a variety, but any kind is safer than an exposed outlet.

They typically cost between $3 and $5.

Step 3

Install them. Most require a 1 or 2 screws to install, maximum.

There it is! For the cost of a coffee and as much time as it took to read this section, you’ll have eliminated your child’s electrocution risk all over your home.

#16: Cover Your Basics with Working Smoke Alarms & Carbon Monoxide Detectors

Installing a Smoke AlarmTask Time: An afternoon to install, only seconds to maintain

Parents, if you implement only one tip immediately after reading this article, let it be this one. Seriously, there is no tip on this list that provides as much safety and security for so little time or money. This is also the only tip that doesn’t just apply to your children’s safety, but your own. Implement our tip to make sure your home is safe from smoke and carbon monoxide at all times.

Step 1

Get a pen and paper.

Step 2

Walk through your home. Make a note of every smoke alarm in your home, and where they are missing. For newer homes, there should be an alarm in every sleeping area, every hallway, and on each floor. Consult the National Fire Protection Association site for more specific guidelines.

Step 3

Buy new smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. They range in price from $30-$100 per detector. They’re available at any home improvement store, but online stores like Amazon provide the greatest selection. They also provide multi-packs if you need 5 or more detectors. New models are “interconnected,” and are recommended by the NFPA. Smoke detectors that are interconnected will sound off when any one of them detects carbon monoxide or smoke, creating an even faster response when the home is in danger.

Step 4

Install new smoke alarms where they are missing. Sleeping areas are most important.

Place them about a foot from the ceiling, away from any vents or windows, which could interfere with their detection ability.

Step 5

Make sure you install new smoke detectors at the bottom of basement stairs or at the top of attics or upper rooms.

Step 6

For battery-powered smoke detectors, replace the batteries once a year. Once a month, test each detector using the test button to ensure that it works.

This tip has the ability to not just keep your home safe, but save your lives and give you peace of mind while you sleep.

If you cannot afford to install new detectors all over your home, take a trip to the local drugstore for all the replacement batteries you need. For a few dollars and a couple minutes of your day, you can make sure your family is kept safe from the threat of fires, smoke, or gas leaks.

Simple Tips for Easy Implementation

The best part of this list? Any three or four of these tips could be accomplished on a reasonable budget in a single day. Each one could make your home safer for your children, preventing everything from choking hazards to head injuries or bloody noses. Pick 1 or 2 right now, and have a safer home in the next 15 minutes!

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