In the kitchen,

  • Keep a distance between flammable objects (papers, curtains, plastics, etc.) and fire sources (oven, stove top, portable heater, etc.)
  • Use harmful products (cleaning solutions, lighters) with caution (follow instructions!)
  • Leave space around appliances for proper ventilation.

     In the bathroom,

    • Keep electrical appliances wrapped and away from water.
    • Use non-slip strips or floor mats
    • Always keep the room clean and as dry as possible.

      In the bedroom,

    • Never smoke.
    • As always, ensure that everything else is a safe distance away from a source of fire or heat.
    • Opt for mattresses with open flame-resistant protection.
    • You’re most vulnerable when you sleep. Even in bed, keep a phone, light within reach.

      In the garage,

    • This is probably where you store most of your tools and equipment. Take precautions with flammable liquids, chemicals, and anything that may produce fumes.
    • Keep poisonous substances (paint thinner, antifreeze, rat poison, etc.) locked up and out of reach of children and pets.
    • Keep your space clean and organized, especially as many of your tools are sharp, heavy, or otherwise dangerous.

      In the yard,

    • Surround your property with a sturdy fence (this is more for keeping in children and pets, but can also serve to remind strangers to keep out).
    • Be careful when working in bad weather. Use sand, salt, and good-traction footwear on ice and snow.
    • Keep a clear path in and out of your home to allow quick exit in an emergency and easy access for emergency personnel

      Guard against fire with these home safety tips:

    • Install smoke detectors, check them regularly, and replace the batteries at least once a year.
    • Avoid overloading outlets and extension cords.
    • Keep fire extinguishers handy and know how to use them.  It is also important to know their expiration dates.
    • Establish a safety exit, ensure all family members know and understand it, practice with drills, and ensure it’s never blocked.
    • Never block or pile things on heaters or near heat-exuding appliances
    • Never leave any type of fire or hot appliance unattended.
    • Remove dry vegetation around your home, especially during the dry seasons.

     Have easy access to important phone numbers: the police, the fire department, poison control, and trusted family, friends, and neighbors, in   case of an emergency.

    Clearly mark your street number on the mailbox, fence, gate, or wall so you can easily be located in case of an emergency. 

     Guarding Against Intruders

    • Install a home security system.
    • Make sure locks are in place and are functioning correctly.
    • Always check through a peephole or window before opening the door when somebody knocks.
    • Keep your doors closed even when you’re home, including the garage doors.
    • Keep blinds or curtains closed so you don’t advertise what’s inside
    • Store your valuables in a safe or a very clever hiding spot, instead of leaving them lying around.
    • Protect sliding doors from intrusion by inserting a metal bar or pipe on the bottom track (make sure it’s the same length).
    • Request identification if a stranger claims to be a police officer or other government official.
    • Report any suspicious activity around your house or in the neighborhood to the local authorities immediately.
    • Don’t leave digital footprints for criminals. Social networks provide an easy, fun, and dangerous way to announce your exact whereabouts and all times. We often forget that our friends aren’t the only ones privy all of to the information that we post.

    ·   Never announce that you’re leaving your home, especially for prolonged absences.

    ·   Never post your address or phone number.

    ·   Be careful of the information you provide on your answering machine, voicemail, or email signatures.


    • Never leave children alone or unattended
    • If a child is missing, always check bodies of water (pool or bathtub) first—you can prevent a drowning by mere seconds.
    • Unload and lock away firearms, and any other weapons.
    • Keep medications and chemicals safely out of reach.
    • Keep choking hazards (small items and small food) safely out of reach.
    • Secure household items; prevent tipping by securing bookcases, shelves, and other objects or appliances that could disastrously fall.
    • Immediately replace any damaged, frayed, or faulty materials or appliances that could pose a hazard to an unsuspecting child.
    • Cover outlets, ground appliances, and coil extension cords when not in use; although these are rules to be followed anyway, they are especially important with children underfoot.


      Guard against falls:

    • Install rails along the staircase, in the bathroom.
    • Secure windows, block stairways, and lock doors.
    • Replace unstable or slippery rugs and runners.
    • Ensure the floor is always clean, clear, and dry.

      General tips:

    • Keep rooms well lit; elders often have trouble with vision (or other senses, in which case it’s even more important for them to see).
    • Use night lights or motion-sensor lights for easy navigation.
    • Arrange furniture for easy navigation.
    • Rearrange furniture and items to make often-used objects more accessible.
    • Easy access to phone numbers in case of an emergency or in order to contact family/a trusted neighbor.


      Lock up. Ensure that all your locks are functioning properly and that all doors and windows are locked.

      Create the illusion that someone is home:

    • Turn on (and leave on) a TV or stereo
    • Leave some interior lights on; use a timer if you’re gone for more than a day.
    • Leave on exterior lighting
    • Use exterior lights that turn on via motion detectors

     Never leave notes on the door when you go out (for a neighbor, handyman, family member, or whomever)—this is practically you hollering that you’ve left the building.

     Lower your ring tone. If you’ll be gone for a while, adjust your telephone so that the volume is low, and the incessant ringing doesn’t trumpet your absence.

     Pull the plug on certain appliances. You don’t need the toaster, the computer, or the washing machine to be on, for example. You’ll save energy, money, and the risk of something messing up or igniting due to power surges or other mishaps.

     Have a trusted neighbor or friend regularly pick up your mail.

    • Never pause or cancel mail delivery—you never know who might pick up on that.

     Never leave extra keys in expected places. Under the doormat and in the flowerpot next to the door aren’t the wisest of hiding places. Find a very inconspicuous place, or entrust a good neighbor.