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8 Home Safety Products You Should Have But Might Not

A smoke alarm on a ceiling

For most people, home is the place to relax and feel secure. But you can’t let your guard down if you want to keep yourself and your family safe during an emergency. Some of these safety items might look familiar while others may be things you never thought of before. Here are some safety products that belong in every home.

Fire Extinguisher

A fire extinguisher on a kitchen counter
Jason Finn/Shutterstock.com

Before you scroll past this one, are you sure your home has a fire extinguisher? If so, do you know where it is? And do you know how to use it? Fire extinguishers are a common safety item found in many homes and apartments, but they are so common that we often forget about them.

Take a minute to check your home’s fire extinguisher. Make sure you and everyone in your home know where it is and how to use it. You should also check the expiration date on your extinguisher.

Over time, the chemicals in fire extinguishers can settle and become ineffective, and the seals on fire extinguishers can degrade, allowing the chemicals to leak out. To tell if a fire extinguisher has expired, look for the pressure gauge. If the gauge is in the red, it’s time to replace the fire extinguisher.

You should have your fire extinguisher serviced regularly by a professional to ensure that it is in proper working condition in case of an emergency. In general, extinguishers need to be replaced every 10 years.

FIRST ALERT HOME2PRO Fire Extinguisher

One of the most important safety tools you can have in your home.

Fire Blanket

A fire blanket in red packaging
A. Mertens/Shutterstock.com

While a fire extinguisher is an invaluable safety product, it isn’t always the best solution for every fire emergency. A fire blanket is another product that every home should have.

A fire blanket is a piece of woven fire-resistant fabric intended for putting out small fires. Typically crafted from woven fiberglass, these blankets function by suffocating the flames and depriving them of oxygen. To ensure quick access during a fire, you should keep fire blankets close to potentially dangerous areas like the stove or near electrical outlets.

Prepared Hero Emergency Fire Blanket

Easy to throw on small fires before they grow.

Carbon Monoxide Detectors

A carbon monoxide detector on a ceiling
Leena Robinson/Shutterstock.com

Carbon monoxide detectors are required by law to be installed in most new homes, but older homes may not have them. Furthermore, it is up to you to maintain your carbon monoxide detectors, just like your smoke alarms, in order to make sure they are always working properly.

Carbon monoxide alarms should be tested every month. You can do this by holding the test button on the alarm, or according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Batteries should be replaced every year and alarms should be replaced every 10 years, or when they stop working.

First Alert CO400 Carbon Monoxide Detector

These should be placed in every room in your house.

Safety Ladder

A rope ladder going down a building

No one wants to think about a fire in their home, but it’s important to be prepared for all emergencies. People who live in multi-story homes or apartments may find themselves unable to access a staircase down, leaving them stranded at a height too dangerous to jump from.

This is where a safety ladder comes in. Whether it’s escaping a fire or getting out of your home for another reason, having a ladder at your disposal can truly be life-saving. Safety ladders can be attached to windowsills to provide safe access down the side of a building, for at least a few feet.

This may not be useful if you live on the 10th floor of an apartment building, but it can definitely help you or other family members climb out of 2nd- or 3rd-story windows if necessary, depending on the length of the ladder.

Kidde Fire Escape Ladder

This attaches quickly to most household windows.

Smoke Detectors

A man installs a smoke detector
Alexander Raths/Shutterstock.com

Smoke detectors are another must-have (and often required) safety tool for every home. But while most residences have smoke detectors installed, many people don’t keep up with the maintenance required to make sure they are always working properly.

As months go by, the sensors in smoke detectors can become less sensitive, making them less effective at detecting smoke and potential fires. The batteries in smoke detectors can wear out over time, leaving your home vulnerable to fire.

To tell if your smoke detector has expired, look for the expiration date on the device. If there is no date, experts recommend replacing your smoke detector every ten years. It’s important to regularly test your smoke detector to make sure it’s working properly by pressing the test button. Smoke detectors should be replaced about every 10 years in addition to regular maintenance.

Kidde Smoke Detector

This alarm is easy to use and effective.

List of Emergency Contacts

A list of emergency contacts

It can be hard to think straight during an emergency. While 911 is fairly easy to remember, you probably don’t have the numbers of other emergency services, like the Poison Control Center or your local power station, on hand.

It’s a good idea to keep a list of all important phone numbers in a place that is easily accessible, like your refrigerator door. This will keep you from scrambling on the internet if you need help fast.

TLC Safety Emergency Contact Cards

Fill these out and keep them on your fridge for easy access.

First Aid Kit

Someone opens a first aid kit
New Africa/Shutterstock.com

If you don’t have a first aid kit in your home, it’s time you get one. Your kit doesn’t have to be incredibly extensive, but it should contain basic items that can tend to minor wounds or help with bigger ones until professional help can be accessed.

Some things that should be included in every home first aid kit include multiple sizes of bandages, gauze, antibiotic ointment, antiseptic wipes, non-latex gloves, an emergency blanket, a thermometer, and tweezers.

First Aid Only First Aid Kit

This kit has almost 300 items to deal with minor emergencies.

Portable Chargers

A woman charges a phone

These days, your phone is just as much a safety tool as everything else on this list. If you find yourself in an emergency, you’ll need your phone to call for assistance or research a solution for your problem. Your phone can even be used as a flashlight or alarm.

If you’re in a situation that causes your power to go out, you’ll need a way to keep your phone charged until you can use an outlet again. Have one or two portable chargers on hand just in case. Be sure to charge them every month or so to make sure they actually have power when you need them.

Portable Charger with Built in Cables

This device has four built-in cables to charge all devices.

You never know when an emergency is going to happen. Make sure you and your family are prepared for anything that comes your way with these safety products.

Anne Taylor Anne Taylor
Anne Taylor is a writer with a BA in Journalism and a passion for storytelling. Her work has been published on a variety of websites including Mental Floss and Well + Good, and she recently published her first novel, What it Takes to Lose. When she's not writing, Anne loves to travel (19 countries and counting), spend time outside, and play with her dog, Pepper. Read Full Bio »
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