Home safety

Photo: LTD TeamDuring a disaster, ordinary objects in your home can cause injury or damage. However, there are simple steps you can take to make your home safer. Start by viewing each room with a disaster eye and identifying potential hazards, for example, bookshelves that could tip over in an earthquake and block exits or heavy objects that could fall and cause injury.

  • Install smoke detectors on each level of your home and change the batteries every 6 months (at daylight saving changeover times).

  • Move beds away from windows.

  • Move mirrors and heavy pictures away from couches or places where people sit.

  • Clear hallways and exits for easy evacuation.

  • Store heavy items on the lowest shelves.

  • Keep a fire extinguisher on each level and know how and when to use them.

  • Strap down your water heater and fit all gas appliances with a flexible gas supply line.

  • Store flammable or highly reactive chemicals (such as bleach, ammonia, paint thinners) securely and separate from each other.

  • Secure pictures and wall hangings and use restraints to secure heavy items such as bookcases and filing cabinets.

  • Know where and how to switch off your power, water and/or gas.

  • Ensure that all window safety bars have emergency releases.

  • Be sure your home number is visible from the street so emergency vehicles can find you.