Five Must-Have Home Safety Devices

| October 17, 2012

fire extinguisher blows out candles  Protecting your home and your family is an important task made possible when you have the right equipment. Make sure that your house has the following five must-have home safety devices.

Smoke alarm

When it comes to fire, every second counts, and according to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), two-thirds of home fire deaths occur in residences without working fire alarms. The NFPA suggests installing smoke alarms in every bedroom and on every level of the home. The association also recommends having both ionization smoke alarms that respond to flames and photoelectric smoke alarms that pick up smoldering fires.

Fire extinguisher

If a fire erupts in your home, a portable fire extinguisher can help save your property and potentially your life. The NFPA advises only using a fire extinguisher if the blaze is contained in a small area and everyone else is out of the building. If the fire seems to be out of control, leave the building rather than trying to use the fire extinguisher.

Carbon monoxide detector

Referred to as the silent killer, carbon monoxide is an odorless gas that can be deadly when emitted into the home by heating and cooking equipment and by vehicles or generators that are kept running in an enclosed area such as the garage. The NFPA reports that in 2010, U.S. fire departments responded to more than 80,000 carbon monoxide leaks. The association suggests protecting your family by installing carbon monoxide detectors outside of sleeping areas and on every level of the home.


If the power fails and it’s nighttime, the first thing you’ll need is a source of light. Flashlights are especially important if a natural disaster, such as an earthquake or flooding, has struck, causing unsafe conditions. In such a situation, it’s vital to not only see where you’re going, but to make sure that you don’t step on broken glass or plates; that’s one of the most common injuries after an earthquake.

Burglar alarm system

Home alarm systems are designed to deter burglars and alert you if your property has been entered. An unmonitored system has sensors that let you know by sounding if someone enters your home. You can set such a system at night, for instance, and rest assured that it will alert you in the case of trouble. A monitored system not only sounds when an intruder enters, it also simultaneously alerts the police to the break-in, which provides you further protection.

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Category: Evergreen, Home & Garden, Safety & Security

About the Author ()

Julie Bawden-Davis is a Southern-California-based writer specializing in home and garden, real estate, small business and personal finance. Since 1985, her work has appeared in a wide variety of publications, including Family Circle, Ladies’ Home Journal, Better Homes & Gardens, Entrepreneur and The Los Angeles Times. Julie is a University of California Certified Master Gardener and has written five gardening books, including Reader’s Digest Flower Gardening.