Jane Anderson, contributing writer 

 

Keeping your family safe is not a one-man (i.e., one parent) job. It requires the participation of everyone who lives in your home.

Just like home safety features like smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors are imperative to keeping your family safe, safety rules at home are an important way that family members can ensure the safety of all.

Take time to discuss and make safety rules as a family, then review them often. Here are five rules you may want to consider including in your family’s plan:

RULE 1: KEEP THE DOORS LOCKED
Despite the fact that you may living in a safe neighborhood, the National Home Security Alliance advises keeping your home doors locked. This not only minimizes cases of burglary, but also ensures children do not go outside without supervision.

RULE 2: KEEP MEDICINE IN SAFE CABINETS
Medicine is something that needs to be handled with care at home. Safety rules at home on storage of medicine should not be ignored by anyone. Not only is medicine risky to kids but also to some adults. Consider any dangerous or addictive medications you have in your home and ensure they are secured appropriately to avoid accidental or other dangerous usage.

RULE 3: KEEP FIREARMS LOCKED UP
Safe firearms storage refers to storing firearms and ammunition in a manner that minimizes the risk of unauthorized or accidental access to those items, particularly by children or thieves. Both the American Academy of Pediatrics and the National Shooting Sports Foundation recommend that guns be stored locked and unloaded and that ammunition be stored in a different locked location.

RULE 4: HAVE AN EMERGENCY PLAN
Accidents are caused by situations that are not expected. However, it is important to be always prepared for any emergency. Your plan should include at least an emergency contact name and number, an out-of-town contact name and number, and a neighborhood meeting place. If your children are young, consider holding emergency drills teaching them how to exit your home quickly in case of an emergency. Teach your children how to call 911 and when it is appropriate to do so. Prepare emergency “go bags” that contain enough necessities, first-aid supplies, life-sustaining medications, cash, and identification for you to survive outside of your home for three days.

RULE 5: NEVER GIVE OUT PERSONAL INFORMATION TO PEOPLE ON THE INTERNET
Internet technology has many benefits, but there are also many dangers that lurk online. Avoid becoming a victim by teaching all family members (including children and elderly family members) about internet dangers. Everyone should be discouraged from sharing any form of personal information via the internet or inviting someone to their home that they only know from the internet.