The Most Important Safety Equipment You Should Have at Home

February 22, 2018 Mike Holmes

Everybody’s toolkit has probably got the basics: a hammer, some screwdrivers, a few wrenches, and a good measuring tape. 

If you’ve got those, your tool kit still isn’t quite complete. I’m a big advocate for safety, both on the job site - and off. Here are a couple of extra pieces of equipment to add to your kit to promote safety at home.

 

Emergency Preparedness Kit

First thing’s first - every home needs to have a fully stocked and up-to-date emergency kit. No exceptions. You can buy a kit or put one together yourself. Here’s what you’ll want to include in your own kit:

  • Flashlights (and replacement batteries)
  • First-aid materials
  • Sanitizing wipes
  • 3 days’ worth of food and water
  • Manual can opener
  • Necessary medication for family members
  • A list of emergency contacts

Make sure your kit is always fully stocked, and replace any products that have been used or have expired.

 

Fire Safety Equipment and Other Alarms

Each home needs fire extinguishers in accessible areas: at least one on every level in the house, plus in your kitchens and garage – two places where a fire is more likely to start. They should be installed in plain sight so you can grab them quickly in an emergency. Make sure to keep them away from any heat sources.

Inspect your extinguisher every month. Make sure the pin is intact, the tamper seal isn’t broken, and check the pressure gauge. If you suspect it’s been compromised, replace it.

But remember, if you do have a fire at home of any size, your first call should be to the fire department.

Don’t forget your smoke alarms, carbon monoxide detectors, and radon alarms in each level of the home (and outside sleeping areas). These units need to be inspected monthly, and the batteries should be changed twice a year. Make it part of your regular maintenance and choose a time of year that will remind you to replace the batteries (I do mine when the clocks change. Find a time that you can remember).

 

Smart Locks and Home Automation

Home automation is the new trend in home technology – and I think it’s here to stay. Eaton’s home automation hub gives you control over the major systems in your home (temperature, locks, and even your music)

A good smart lock deadbolt offers a ton of security over who can enter your home - and when. I just had the Schlage Sense Smart Deadbolt installed on the door in my home. I love it, because I can send a digital key to my dog walker while I’m busy on the job site. The key expires after a few hours, giving her plenty of time to walk Charlie. And I get alerts right to my phone to let me know who’s coming and going. You can even prevent your young kids from opening the front door for people that they shouldn’t.

 

The DIY-ers Safety Kit

If you like to take on your own small projects around the house, protect yourself by always wearing the proper safety equipment. Wear your gloves, masks, goggles, and proper protective clothing. You’d be surprised at the number of homeowners I see mowing their lawns in the summer with open-toed shoes. Always wear the right gear for the job.

For bigger jobs, always consider calling in a pro - there are certain tasks I wouldn’t mess with on my own (like my electrical set up). Know when to call in backup. 

About the Author

Mike Holmes, professional contractor and TV host, is working with Associa to refine the standards and protocols that today’s Homeowner’s Associations use to Make It Right™ for their homeowners. He brings more than 35 years of experience in renovations, construction, and inspection services, and is best known as the contractor and host of “Holmes on Homes” and “Holmes Makes It Right” where he rescues homeowners from repair and renovation disasters.

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