6 Ways to Keep Your Home & Family Safe

Accidents happen unexpectedly at home, but there are ways to make it safer for everyone living there. Whether you are a household of one person or several generations, here are some tips to help make your home safer.



1. Keep doors closed
Open doors let robbers walk into your home without having to make the effort to break in. Open doors also allow children to wander away unnoticed. Even if you live in a safe neighbourhood, it is a good idea to lock doors.

If fresh air and the freedom to come and go are important to you, install a safety gate at all exit doors. Open up the door but keep the safety gate closed and locked. Look for designs that allow fresh air inside and let you see outside easily. Try a trellis-style gate, security screen, or louvre shutter.

Do the same with windows because these can also be used by criminals to get inside. Adventurous children may use windows to get outside. Or sometimes they just love climbing and are then in danger of falling out through unsecured windows. If you don’t like conventional burglar bars, then opt for security screens, louvre shutters, or polycarbonate bars. These will help to keep kids safe inside and criminals locked outside.




2. Keep medications secure

Medicines should be handled with caution at home. Controlled drugs that require a script from a doctor can be extremely dangerous in the hands of children looking for sweets, experimental teenagers, or elderly relatives experiencing confusion.

Keep these medications locked in a designated cupboard and store the key out of reach. Don’t store first aid kits and everyday medications with the prescription medications. Rather store these in a place that’s easy for all to access in an emergency, but away from the controlled drugs.



3. Always have an emergency plan in place

Accidents are triggered by unexpected circumstances. Therefore it is critical to be prepared for any situation. An emergency plan should include, but is not limited to:

  • What to do in case of a fire inside the home – do you have an easily accessible fire extinguisher and/or fire blanket? Does everyone know how to use these lifesaving aids?
  • What to do if there is an intruder – do you have a safe zone in your home where family members can lock themselves in? Do you have an emergency response provider and does everyone know how to call them? If not, do children know which neighbours are safe to go to for help? Where do you keep your panic alarms?
  • If someone hurts themselves badly or falls ill, do you have a list of emergency contacts in a highly visible place and that is easy to read in a panic?


4. Stranger Awareness

Develop a routine for dealing with strangers knocking at your door or ringing your bell. Make it habit to not immediately press the remote to let service providers, employees, unknown visitors, or contractors into the house. Always ask who they are before letting them in and if you don’t know them, ask for identification. This could be confirming and appointment time and their name or presenting a company card.

If you are not going to be home at the time contractors are expected, insist that family members contact you when they arrive. This is so that they can check if the visitor is expected and safe to let in.

Contractors should only be shown to the location they need to see or work in. Avoid displaying your property and valuables by giving a tour unless it’s to get a quote for work in other areas.



5. Check that electronic systems are operational

Many of us use electronic systems linked to cell phone apps as part of our security shield. These include motion sensors, baby monitors and internal cameras, smoke detectors and alarms, external cameras, motorised roller shutters, and burglar alarms.

These electronic devices often rely on electricity, batteries, and cell phone towers to work. Test these frequently to make sure they are working. You don’t want to find out in an emergency that there is a problem. Its far better to be prepared than to panic in a critical moment because the system has failed.




6. Maintain adequate lighting

Burglars rely on getting into your home unseen unless they are a brazen armed gang. In general, they prefer to work in the dark, undetected. Lighting, therefore, can be an excellent deterrent. It can also help you see anyone trying to get close to your home to find a weak spot to break in through.

As an added security step, consider placing motion sensor lights around the perimeter of your property. These are relatively inexpensive and can significantly improve your sense of safety, particularly if you live in a dark or secluded place. If someone gets onto your property, being suddenly ‘in the spotlight’ is likely to send them packing before they ever try to break in.




This list of home safety measures is easy to implement with a little planning. These are common sense ideas that we may not think of until there is an emergency situation. The time spent implementing safety precautions like these and making sure your family is aware of them will be well worth it for the peace of mind it brings.

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