Natural or man-made disasters can occur at any time. Plan to make sure you and your loved ones are safe if something does happen. We came up with this list of 8 SAFETY ITEMS YOU SHOULD HAVE IN YOUR HOME:

(1) Fire Extinguishers- There are different categories of fire extinguishers. Firefighters recommend the Amerex B500 brand, these are known best for reliability and this is the brand that firefighters typically use. These are also a perfect size for general home use. Make sure your fire extinguisher(s) have a fire class rating of A, B, C for A, B and C fires.

(2) Smoke Detectors- Fires can happen any time of day or night. Smoke detectors should be installed on every floor and outside of each bedroom of your home. A good rule of thumb is to test your detectors every couple of months and change out the batteries once a year.

(3) Carbon Monoxide Detectors- Carbon Monoxide is a colorless, odorless, tasteless gas and it can hospitalize people and even cause death. Install a Carbon Monoxide detector outside of your bedrooms. A good rule of thumb is to test your detectors every couple of months and change out the batteries once a year.

(4) Emergency Contact List- Keeping an updated list of important contacts helps you to be proactive in the event of an emergency. Poison Control, the fire department, local police station and primary care doctors should be on the list. If you have pets in the home, include your vet and the information for the closest 24-hour emergency vet clinic. This should be kept in an easy to reach place in the home for babysitters, house sitters, pet sitters and neighbors in case of an emergency.

(5) First Aid Kit- Accidents happen, so having a first aid kit is an essential for every home. A basic first aid kit contains items like bandages, adhesive tape, gauze, sterile gloves, alcohol-free cleansing wipes, scissors, tweezers, antibiotic ointment, antiseptic solution, and hydrocortisone cream. Some come with other items as well. You can also add to your first aid it with other items.

(6) Home Security System- Installing a home security system can help deter thieves from breaking into your home. Make sure it is connected to the police department and fire department as well. Door and window sensors as well as motion detectors and cameras are all options you can add to your home security system. Make sure to set your alarm regularly so that it can be used properly in an emergency.

(7) Flashlights- Store flashlights in the home where you can get to them easily on every floor of your home, in case of power outages and severe weather. Keep extra batteries on hand with your flashlights so you know where they are in the event of an emergency. You can also find solar powered flashlights to keep on hand.

(8) Family Disaster Kit- Pack up a kit with essential supplies like non-perishable food, water, cash, flashlights, tools, a battery-operated NOAA alert radio, and a first aid kit. Make sure you can grab last minute things like medications, pet food and important documents. Keep this kit in your car or someplace safe where everyone in the family knows where to find it.

Learn more about Emergency Preparation Tips: Document Organization at the NAHB.

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