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While doing our part to slow the spread of the Coronvirus, we are spending more time at home. This can be easy for some and hard for others. Depending on your situation, if you are single or a family big or small, these are ideas of things that can be done with the extra time you have on your hands. Maybe you are juggling work at home and homeschooling and do not have extra time, these are suggestions that should still be taken into account now that everyone spends so much time at home.
For the safety of everyone in the house, ask yourself, if your detectors are up to date? I am not just talking about batteries. I mean the whole unit. Did you know that detectors have a expiration date? We are talking smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors.
I learned the hard way. Standing outside in the yard with my four children watching as the fire department came, luckily, as a false alarm due to the fact that my carbon monoxide detector was going off as a warning that it was expired. We had a plug in detector with a back up battery. We thought we had all the bases covered. But life snuck up on us and the whole unit was too old and needed replaced.
Similarly, newer thermostats need batteries. Replacing these often will provide and maintain the working function of your furnace and air conditioning units.
If you do not have a fire extinguisher, that is a possible investment that is good to have on hand. Those too, have a shelf life. If you have one, check the unit itself to see the date and whether it needs replaced.
A serious threat to house fires is collected dryer lint. Given our busy lifestyles these days, it is easy to overlook a small detail like dryer lint. Not just the lint that catches in the filter, but the lint that forms and accumulates in the pipes leading the exhaust to the outside.
3. Back up
With cell phones at the tip of our fingers that act as our computers, cameras, and video cameras all in one, are you sure your files are safe?
What about your home computer? Do you have documents or family pictures that need to be protected and saved somewhere safe?
Whether it is using a reputable site, the cloud, or external hard drive, do it now before it is too late!
This encompasses a lot of things. Are there any dangers in or around your home that need addressed? Broken locks or weak entry points? I recently added chain locks to my doors. Could you benefit from improving anything to eliminate dangers or threats to your family?
How about baby proofing items? Are your bookshelves and heavy furniture properly mounted to the wall? Maybe its about time to mount that television?
With families finding schools and daycares closed and children being home all day, is your home as safe as it can be? If boredom should strike or tempers flare, do your kids know what is off limits? If they wander off do they know what poisons are and not to take medication that looks like candy?
You can (and I did) sit your kids down and discuss the dangers inside a home. Afterwards go on a scavenger hunt and point out all the relatively dangerous items that are off limits. Place Mr. Yuk stickers on poisonous or hazardous materials. (Making them aware and accountable does not negate proper supervision.)
Mr. Yuk sticker can be found: 1-800-222-1222 will direct your call to the nearest regional poison center. You will be asked to send a self-addressed stamped envelope to the nearest location to be given a free sheet of Mr. Yuk stickers.
5. Are you prepared?
Ask yourself if you and/or family is prepared for an emergency? Depending on where you live and your living situation, are you ready? From power outages, natural disasters, to medical emergencies, are you covered?
This can be a family project as well. Get the kids involved. Let them help pack the supplies, so that all, know where these rations are at all times. It can be fun when you add some entertainment for long periods of waiting times.
Do you have flashlights for all member of the house? Do you have enough batteries to work the flashlights? Do you need candles and/or matches? Food supply enough for everyone? Enough water?
Complete lists can be found on the internet that you can tailor to your needs. Given the short demand of items right now, you can at least make an inventory list of what you do have and make another list of things you do need and can accumulate them over time.
Do you have a survival kit already made? When was the last time you replaced anything? Have you checked expiration dates on these items?
Do your children know what to do in an emergency? Keeping it age appropriate, you can have discussions about who and what numbers to call if an emergency should arise. Are the phone numbers in a visible and easy place for them to access? Fire drills can be practiced, just like they did in school!
Well, I hope I have given you enough to think about and good advice. If there is anything this pandemic has taught us, is that we can not take anything for granted.
Stay strong and stay safe.
Is there anything that you would add to my list. Leave it down below in the comments. I would love to hear your suggestions too. Sharing is caring!