To put it simply, safety is the state of being safe and protected against non-desirable events and outcomes. It’s why we have security systems installed. And while, we all strive to ensure our own safety and the safety of our families, staying safe isn’t always top of mind.
Once in a while, it’s good to take a step back and consider changes or habits that can be instilled to ensure safety is a priority. To help you out, here are 10 easy ways and things to consider when aiming to protect yourself and your family.
1. Know your neighborhood. Meet your neighbors and get to know those in the communities around your home. The better these relationships, the more likely you will look out for each other – together, a community is safer. More specifically, build a relationship with one or two trustworthy neighbors and be sure to find and identify someone close whom you can contact in the case of an emergency. Know your community better by getting involved with activities such as local clean ups and neighborhood watch programs (both of which can reduce the crime rate of a community by about 16 percent).
2. Eliminate distracted driving. This is key: make a commitment to stay safe on the roads. That means, don’t text and drive, pull over to take a call, leave the eating to when you’re not in a moving vehicle, and keep any unruly passengers calm. Driving is a task that needs 100 percent of a driver’s attention and too many accidents happen because a good driver gets distracted.
3. Check fire alarms and carbon monoxide detectors monthly. Don’t just check your detectors when you spring ahead or fall back. Instead, make sure all gas detection and smoke detectors are installed correctly and are tested regularly; this is an easy way to ensure your family’s safety and ensure your family is safe from these hazards.
4. Be social network safe. While it’s tempting to post about Suzie’s soccer game happening at 5 p.m., this type of social media update gives dangerous information to anyone intending to cause harm. Keep posts about specific whereabouts and times (especially that long vacation) of yourself and others off social media sites and only give that information to those who absolutely need it (and post updates about vacations after you come home). Communicate with the younger family members about social network safety.
5. Properly store medicines and chemicals. Medicines and chemicals should be stored in a locked or out of reach area that is inaccessible by kids and pets. By simply storing these products in a secure location, you can ensure your family (especially the smaller members) is safe from harmful chemicals and medicines. Think cleaning supplies, flammable liquids, home improvement items, or the everyday medicines prescribed to certain family members. With help from your home security company, you could set home security monitoring to make sure no children or pets get into these storage locations.
6. Keep emergency numbers handy. It may be easy to let this slide since most have a cell phone with pre-programmed numbers. However, keeping a list of emergency numbersnear the phones or in a central location is helpful in case of an emergency where a cell phone is out of reach or a younger member of the family without a cell phone has to make the call. Take it a step farther by teaching kids to memorize a few very important numbers. During an emergency, the quicker the reaction, the more likely there will be a positive outcome.
7. Use exterior lighting. Light the exterior of your home at night, which may keep intruders away and provide peace of mind for your visitors and family. Installing simple motion-censored lights could startle any unwanted visitors and give the impression that someone inside is home and aware.
8. Wear seatbelts. This may come as second nature to some, but for others it is a good habit to learn (and it’s the law!). It goes without saying (although we will mention it here), in the unfortunate event of an accident, wearing a seatbelt keeps passengers safe and can save the lives of you and your loved ones. Seatbelts have been engineered overtime to be incredibly efficient and they protect the critical areas of the body, reducing the risk of life threatening injuries or fatalities.
9. Install an alarm system. Keeping your home safe is important, but keeping anyone inside safe is the main priority. Not only does having (and displaying) an alarm system deter potential burglars, but those efficient systems will also help deploy authorities to your home in the event of a potential emergency.
10. Communicate. Life is chaotic and schedules can be nutty, but take a little “safety break” and communicate with your family and community about potential risks and/or concerns. Keeping open lines of communication may sound like an easy tool, but all families must work at it and ensure that everyone is on the same “safety” page.
While some hazards are preventable by taking simple measures to ensure the safety of those around you, creating new habits and being informed about the community can protect your family and make a safer environment for everyone. #togetherwearesafer