No one likes to talk about the topic of accidents, but it’s a reality – everyday and every minute of our lives. In this fast paced world, we believe it’s a good reminder to take a moment to stop and ask yourself some simple safety questions as you look around your home.  Don’t wait for something terrible to happen until you take action to be ready and prepared. Life is just that important!

Here are some important suggestions and reminders we’d like to share: *

FIRST, post an emergency phone list (and any other pertinent emergency information) next to the most commonly used telephone in your home. Go to: Our Handy Emergency Handbook and access even more important information!

SECOND, let’s talk about fire safety….

Fire Safety Tips

  • Talk with all household members about a fire escape plan and practice the plan twice a year.
  • Test smoke alarms once every 6 months; if they’re not working, change the batteries. Create a schedule on your calendar to refresh all the batteries on an annual basis. Keep extra batteries in your home at all times.
  • If a fire occurs in your home, GET OUT, STAY OUT and CALL for help – these three things may save a life.
  • Install smoke alarms on every level of your home, inside bedrooms and outside sleeping areas.
  • Keep items that can catch on fire at least three feet away from anything that gets hot, such as space heaters.
  • Talk to children regularly about the dangers of fire, matches, and lighters and keep them out of reach. Download the Monster Guard: Prepare for Emergencies mobile game to teach kids about fire safety and other disasters.
  • Keep flashlights in several places that are accessible- make sure others know where they are in the event of a power outage.
  • Be sure you are not overloading multiple outlets with extensions – often times these can simply short and start small electrical fires. Have a fire extinguisher at hand in your home and know HOW TO USE it. So often we hear of tragedies, yet no one knew how to use this life-saving tool.

THIRD…. First Aid!

A well-stocked first aid kit is a handy thing to have. To be prepared for emergencies:

  • Keep a first aid kit in your home and in your car.
  • Place first aid kits in several locations of your home – and yes, tell others where they are.
  • First aid kits come in many shapes and sizes. You can purchase one from the Red Cross Store or your local American Red Cross chapter. Your local hardware store or drug store sells them already set up, or you can also make your own. Some kits are designed for specific activities, such as hiking, camping, or boating.
  • For a DIY kit, make sure your first aid kit is stocked with: 2 absorbent compress dressings, 25 adhesive bandages (assorted sizes), 1 adhesive cloth tape, 5 antibiotic ointment packets, 5 antiseptic wipe packets, 2 packets of aspirin, 1 breathing CPR barrier, 1 instant cold compress, 2 pairs of non-latex gloves, 2 hydrocortisone ointment packets, scissors, 1 roller bandage, 5 sterile gauze pads, an oral thermometer, 2 triangular bandages, and tweezers. AND… any necessary medication taken on a regular basis. (Be sure to check expiration dates on all medicines.)

LASTLY…. HOME SAFETY for everyone…

  • As we stated above, post an emergency phone list where everyone can see it. Include 9-1-1, work and cell numbers, numbers for neighbors, and the numbers for anyone else who is close and trusted.
  • Practice an emergency plan so everyone knows what to do in case of fire, injury, or other emergencies. Write the plan down and make sure everyone knows where it is.
  • Here’s a great tip for parents with children who have approved access to smart phones or tablets: download the free Red Cross First Aid App so the kids will have instant access to expert advice for everyday emergencies. You can also download the Red Cross Emergency App on smart phones or tablets for adults as well. This app gives real-time weather alerts and safety information, including steps on what to do if the alert goes off. The “Family Safe” feature allows parents to check in with their children via text message to see if they are safe or need help.

*Portions of article reprinted from: