Here are seven simple-to-implement safety suggestions that will help protect your family at home. These tips will help you prepare for the unexpected and provide peace of mind that your loved ones are safe when in your Chicago house, townhome or condo.
- Make sure your exterior house numbers are easy to read from the street so emergency crews can find your home. If you live in a Chicago condo with an interior front entrance, check that your number is visible on exterior door buzzers and/or your front door is clearly labeled.
- If you do not already have one, install a landline so calls to 911 can be easily tracked to your location. Cell phones cannot be quickly traced back to your home, so you will have to tell the operator your address instead, which can waste valuable minutes in an emergency situation.
- Do not have deadbolts that require a key to open from the inside. If you need to get out fast in the case of a fire you could have trouble locating and using the key to unlock the door.
- Create a fire escape plan for the entire family. Make sure there are two exits from every room and a secure way to escape from upper floors (this may require keeping a roll-out ladder in second-story bedrooms). Select an exterior meeting place where everyone can reconvene after safely escaping.
- Check smoke alarms EVERY MONTH and replace batteries ONCE A YEAR! You know this rule and have probably heard it a thousand times, but how often do you really check your smoke detectors for proper functioning? Perhaps every time something burns in the oven and sets it off accidentally? That doesn’t count. Make a note on your calendar and follow through religiously, it can save lives!
- There should be at least one smoke detector on every level of your home, located near or inside every bedroom door. Also, it is a good idea to install carbon monoxide detectors in the same locations as well.
- Protect your home from outside intruders with one-inch security deadbolts and solid front doors (no large glass panes that can be easily broken). You can also burglar proof glass patio doors by putting a solid metal bar (the same length as the door) in the bottom track.
Whether you live in a twentieth-floor condo in downtown Chicago or a single-family home on a quiet residential street, you can follow these seven simple safety suggestions to help protect your family at home.