Be prepared for tornadoes hurricanes, earthquakes, floods or other types of disasters - inspect your home to find and correct potential hazards before disaster strikes. To begin, here are some suggestions:
Check Your Utilities
- Know where your main electric fuse or circuit-breaker box is located and how to shut it off safely.
- Know where your main water and natural gas shut-off valves are located and how to shut them off safely.
Identify Electrical and Chemical Hazards
- Replace frayed or cracked extension and appliance cords, loose prongs and plugs.
- Avoid overloading outlets.
- Be sure all extension cords are rated for the electrical load and the cord is as short as possible.
- Repair or replace appliances that overheat, short out, smoke or spark.
- Properly store flammable liquids in well ventilated areas and in original and safety containers.
- Move flammable items away from heat sources, gas appliances and open flames.
Use Safety Equipment
- Install at least one smoke detector on each level of your home.
- Install a carbon monoxide (CO) detector if you have combustion appliances.
- Have a fire extinguisher (ABC-type) available for use.
Secure Loose and Heavy Items
- Check for items that can shift or fall.
- Anchor your water heater, large appliances, bookcases, tall or heavy furniture, shelves, mirrors and pictures to wall studs.
- Place large or heavy objects on lower shelves.
- Provide strong support and flexible connections on gas appliances, including the water heater.
Practice Home Evacuation Plans
- Plan how to escape from your home in case of an emergency.
- Identify at least two exits from each room.
- Conduct emergency drills.
- Practice day and night escapes, and pick a safe meeting place outside your home.