Home Emergency Plan. Be Prepared In Any Situation.

Safety & Security

Why do we need to create a home emergency plan and have a home emergency kit?

It is our home, our nest, where we want to feel safe and keep our families secure, but we tend to put it off for tomorrow and we think none of these things will ever happen to us. Most of us could be right, but preparing your home for the worst can make all the difference when It comes to life or death situations.

Create a home emergency plan today by keeping the below things in mind. 

 

1. Fire Emergencies at Home

Did you know that According to the National Fire Protection Association, there are nearly 17,000 fires each year that are initiated by clothing dryers? Dryer fires cause around 51 deaths, 380 injuries, and $236 million in property loss per year. Our homes have internal wiring, electrical plugs, furnaces, water heaters, stoves and many other potential fire-starting appliances. I want to provide you with a list of the necessary tools and equipment needed to protect your home, keep your family safe and create a home emergency plan.

Fire Extinguisher

There are many different kinds of fire extinguishers and ratings to choose from. Make sure the one you choose has an “ABC” rating which means its good for all common household fires. 

We also recommend to keep at least one in the kitchen, garage, basement and each level of your house, if it’s more than one story. This ensures that you will have an extinguisher in all areas that are at most risk of fire.

 

Smoke Detectors

Your home should have smoke detectors evenly distributed around each level of the home, specifically in each room, including utility rooms, hallways and atop of the stairs.

Nowadays most homes come with pre-installed smoke detectors so whether your home is brand new or if you bought a used home, make sure to inspect and test all smoke detectors often.

With older homes, keep in mind that most smoke detectors have a 10-year life expectancy. It is a good idea to replace these if they are getting close to that 10-year mark.

Here is what you need to think about when buying a smoke detector:

  • Will it be hardwired with the electrical in your house? 

If your home came pre-wired with a system of detectors that will communicate with each other, then when one goes off, all of the detectors in the house will then kick in. This is optimal for any house but specially for bigger or two story homes.

Keep in mind that this would mean unplugging the old unit from the wiring and re-wiring the new one.

So be careful when doing the installation and take necessary precautions to avoid electrocution. You may need to contact an electrician if you need help installing. 

  •  What is the location of the unit?

The location of the unit is something to think about, because bedrooms may only need smoke detectors. This is important because hallways or other areas in your home, may require a combination alarm for both smoke and Carbon Monoxide.

Keep reading below to learn more about the CO detectors.

 

2. Carbon Monoxide or “CO”

Just like the smoke detectors, most homes come with pre-installed carbon monoxide detectors and some may even have both a CO and smoke detector in one.

It is important that you find the detectors, maintain the batteries (if one is required) and test these alarms routinely.

Also, just like smoke alarms, most of these detectors have a 10-year life span. Make sure to replace any units that are older than 10 years.

If that is your case, here is a really good, hardwired, up to date, combination smoke and Carbon Monoxide detector.  Some of these don’t even require a battery as they come with a lithium ion battery that lasts up to 10 years.

No more chirping in the middle of the night!!

3. Water Emergencies

Water damage can be a very costly headache and just like any other home emergency situation, being prepared can save you a lot of time and money.

Water Shut Off

Identify the water turn off valve for you home and how to shut it off. In an emergency situation, turning the main valve off can save your home from being flooded.

It is also important to make sure you have the necessary tool in order to open and shut the water valve. Some valves can be as easy as just using a plumber’s wrench to open and shut. Others may need a water meter key to even open the water meter before you can get to the valve.

You and members of your household should know how to use the tools, how to locate the water meter and how to open and close it properly. 

 

Water Appliances

Routinely inspect and fix if necessary all water appliances like the clothing washer and dish washer. Additionally, check for unplugged or loose hose connections to these appliances and ensure they are not clogged or backed up.   

4. Have A Home Emergency Plan

A lot of us have heard the phrase “if you fail to plan, you plan to fail” and when it comes to our homes and family’s safety we should always be prepared. Ready.gov and FEMA provide us with these simple steps to prepare for an emergency. Step 1: Family Discussion. Every member of your household should be aware and know how to react during emergencies; a family discussion is key to making sure you’re all on the same page. Answer the below questions: Step 2: Consider Specific Needs. Every specific need for members of your household is very important and should be well thought out for emergency plans. Do your kids have Asthma? Do you have a pet that would need to be taken care of? Do you have specific allergies that require medication and/or medical equipment?Discussing these needs beforehand can mean the difference between life and death.   Step 3: Put It In Writing. We tend to remember things better when we put them in writing, so when it comes to your home emergency plan, it should be documented. FEMA provides us with a family home emergency plan template that you can follow and/or adjust as needed.  Step 4: Keep It Fresh. Discuss your plan often and practice with all family members present.   

5. Have A Home Emergency Kit

Having a home emergency kit is another essential part of being prepared. Most of these items can be found inexpensively and can someday save your’s or a family member’s life.

When creating your home emergency kit, always keep in mind special needs. Do you have kids, pets or elderly people that live with you? Think of any additional items that they may need in case you are not able to go to the store or need to survive on your own for several days. 

Home Emergency Kit Essentials.

When it comes to our safety and our family’s safety we should always be prepared and not take any chances.

We hope you take home emergency situations very seriously and prepare by following these tips and ensuring you have the essential tools and equipment needed to navigate most emergency situations. 

Create a home emergency plan today and share these tips with friends and family. Leave us a comment with your tips to keep your family safe.

Until next time!

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