Organizing Your Home For Safety

As I’ve told my kids, everyone has at least one area of “weakness.”  For me, it’s organizing.  I admit, my desk is a mess and I spend way too much time trying to find misplaced keys or other items in the morning.  Part of the problem is I get distracted easily.  As I’m organizing one thing, another “to-do” comes into my mind and off I go – leaving one project half-finished as I move on to that other thought.

But I’ve come to realize that organizing is about more than just having a place for everything.  It’s about making sure that my home is safe from dangers and I’m prepared for an emergency.  I’ve committed to taking at least one day this week to do nothing but organize and make sure I’ve got my act together.

Even if you’re the most organized person and your best friend is a label maker, here are a few safety tips to keep in mind:

–          Rearrange linen closets so that dangerous items such as medicines and cleaning products are kept on the top shelves away from toddlers.  Linens and towels which won’t hurt them if they get into them are better positioned on the lower shelves

–          Do a quick inventory of all toys to make sure that there are no missing or broken pieces.  Store small toys that could present a choking hazard to smaller children in see-through bins with lids on them.  Take a photo of each toy that is kept in the bin and tape it to the outside so your child knows exactly what belongs in there.

–          Check cold medicines and other prescription drugs to make sure that they have not expired.  Stock up for all of these items you will need during the upcoming cold and flu season.

–          Check that smoke detectors and fire extinguishers are still in good working order and, if you don’t have a CO detector, place one outside every bedroom and one on each floor of the house.

Now is also a great time to prepare and practice emergency evacuation plans with your family.  Keep all emergency numbers on a laminated card attached to your refrigerator, plan an alternate escape route and assign a meeting place outside of the house in case of an emergency.

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