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Monday, April 8, 2013

Quick List: 5 Safety Devices and 10 Home Emergency Items

As a homeowner, you always want to be prepared. Here are five home safety devices you should have:

1. Fire extinguishers. Put one on every floor of your home, plus an extra in the kitchen where the vast majority of home fires start. Multi-purpose A-B-C extinguishers put out all types of fires. Check and recharge when the pressure gauge drops. You'll even get a discount from some insurers.

2. Upstairs escape ladders. Put one under a window in each upstairs bedroom. Practice deploying them.

3. Wireless water alarms. Place under sinks, behind the refrigerator, anywhere water will collect if there's a leak.

4. Automatic shutoff valve for water heater. This cuts off the water supply as soon as it senses a leak.

5. Sump pump alarm. Alerts you to a rapidly rising water level that could mean a flood.

If a disaster hits, here are 10 key items for a home emergency kit. Keep them in a waterproof plastic bin in an easily accessible place.

1. Battery-operated lantern. Throws more illumination than a flashlight and is much safer than candles. 

2. Radio/phone charger. Get one with a hand crank for charging. 

3. Multi-tool. Make sure it includes a can opener and pliers. 

4. Mylar blanket. This shiny silver sheet is remarkably warm, yet lightweight, and folds up compactly.

5. Nylon rope. Handy for tying down outdoor furniture and securing doors.

6. Fishing line. This is a very strong way to secure items when rope is too thick.

7. Duct tape. Nothing is as versatile for quick temporary repairs.

8. Vinyl tablecloth. Spread it out anywhere to create a clean zone.

9. Baby wipes. These are great for removing dirt and grime from your hands or almost any surface.

10. Work gloves. Use these to protect your hands during post-disaster cleanup.

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