The New Year is the perfect time to pledge to get organized! Post New Year, my to-do list is about a mile long with organizational aspirations for everything from paperwork to the pantry. One critical organizational task that can get easily overlooked is basic home safety. January is a great time to conduct a yearly safety assessment of your home. Choosing an annual date, or weekend to run through the critical safety items in your home means that supplies like first aid kits, fire extinguishers, fire alarms, flash lights, home chemicals, and 72 hour survival kits will all be in working order should we ever need them. An assessment of these tools takes less time than you think and can be fun when you get the whole family involved.
First things first, create a list of all the items in your home that need to be assessed. You can make your own list or download mine here. Don’t forget to include a space for what needs to be replaced, fixed, or added. Make this the year to add a first aid kit to every car, and don’t forget to have a portable to-go bag of critical supplies like first aid, water, and a flashlight at your office.
Splitting up the list and getting the family involved means everyone knows where to find supplies. We should all know where to find the fire extinguisher and be able to locate extra batteries. With home safety items, it is best to keep them out of reach of young children. The ideal spot to store supplies is a place that is out of reach but visible and accessible to adults and older children. Placing kits and chemicals in clear plastic bins with large labels is always helpful. The key with critical supplies is to make them portable and accessible when needed.
Make time to check on extra supplies as well. Things like trash bags, towels, batteries, candles, and matches or a lighter are common everyday items that can be lifesaving in an emergency. Add these to your grocery list once a month to ensure you always have plenty on hand.
Keep medications in check. Part of your home safety assessment should include family medications. Double-check the safety of medication caps and locations. Keep them accessible but out of reach of small children and always make sure you have extra on hand for your 72 hour emergency kit, first aid kit, and office emergency bag.
Don’t forget the fun. When disaster strikes it is really important to maintain a little emotional levity. Don’t forget to pack simple toys, treats for the dog or cat, reading materials and some playing cards. Sometimes an old fashioned board game can help the family gain some normalcy and help get you through tough times.
What’s on your safety checklist?