Preparing Your Home for Emergencies

posted on March 21st, 2014 | filed under: Uncategorized

home-emergencyWhile no one likes to think too much about disaster striking, it is important to be prepared in case of an emergency.  Having the appropriate emergency gear will help protect your home and your family in case of power outages or damage to your property.  As they say – the best defense is a good offense.  Here are the most important things to have on hand if you should encounter an emergency situation.

Fire Extinguisher: Having a fire extinguisher nearby can be critical during an emergency.  Keep one on every floor of your home, as well as an extra on hand in the kitchen.  Most fires begin in the kitchen, and you may even get a break from your insurance company for having them.  The best kind to have is a multi-purpose A:B:C extinguisher which will extinguish flames caused by electrical fires, combustibles and flammable liquids.  Be sure to check them regularly and have them recharged if the pressure gets low.  Fire extinguishers can be purchased for around $40.

Battery-Powered Smoke Detectors: Many homes today have smoke detectors hard-wired into the walls and ceiling.  It is a good idea to have at least one battery-powered smoke detector installed on each floor of your home.  Also, be sure to have one in the kitchen and near any bedrooms.  Of course, you don’t want to be woken up in the middle of the night when the detector starts chirping because the battery is low, so think about installing the type that contain a sealed-in lithium battery.  They typically last about ten years and save you from having to make frequent battery changes.  Battery-powered smoke detectors can be purchased for about $20.

Carbon Monoxide Alarm: Carbon monoxide is tasteless and odorless, so without an alarm it can be impossible to tell if you have a leak.  The best type of alarm to install is one that is separate from the smoke detector.  Like other alarms, be sure to install them on every floor, near the bedrooms, and in the kitchen.  There are many types available, including those that can be plugged into electrical outlets and also feature battery back-up in case of a power outage.  Carbon monoxide alarms run about $30.

Emergency Kit: Another good idea for preparedness is to have a well-stocked emergency kit on hand.  Be sure to include these items in your kit, which can be stored in a waterproof plastic tub:

  • Duct tape – for quick repairs
  • Emergency blanket – consider getting a mylar blanket, which is warm and lightweight and take ups almost no space
  • Multipurpose tool – A Swiss Army knife or a Leatherman tool are perfect for any situation that may arise-be sure to get one with a can opener and pliers
  • Hand-crank emergency charger – Be able to charge phones without electricity by having a hand-crank radio/charger
  • Gloves – You never know what you’ll have to clean-up, so protect your hands with a sturdy pair of work gloves
  • Nylon rope – Nylon rope is indispensable for securing outdoor furniture or to tie down doors during a storm
  • Battery-powered lantern – A lantern is a much better choice than candles for emergency illumination, as candles pose a fire risk.

By making sure to have these essentials in your San Diego home, you’ll be well on your way to being prepared during an emergency.  Taking time to prepare before disaster strikes is the best thing you can do to protect your home and family.

posted by Jeff DeChamplain

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Jeff DeChamplain