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Making Your Home Safe

Now that you have moved into your new home, you need to learn how to protect your investment and your family. Fire safety and burglary prevention are topics that you should discuss with your family. Everyone should be prepared and know what to do in case of an emergency. 

General Safety Tips

Emergency numbers
By each telephone, post numbers you would call in an emergency. Here are some of the important numbers that should be on your list:

Emergency for Fire, Police, and Ambulance: 911
Memphis Police: 901-545-2677
Shelby County Sheriff: 901-496-1111
Memphis Fire: 901-458-3311
Southern Poison Center: 901-528-6048
Drug Helpline: 1-800-662-4357
Memphis Light Gas and Water (Emergency Line) – 901-528-4465

You should also list the names and phone numbers of your doctors and the hospital you would visit in case of an emergency.

First-aid kit
Be sure to keep a first aid-kit in an easy to find place. The kit should have bandages and medications. You can buy a pre-made kit or create your own. Be sure to check the kit once or twice a year to make sure the medicines are not expired and the kit is complete.

A first-aid kit should include:

  • First-aid manual
  • Sterile gauze
  • Adhesive tape
  • Adhesive bandages in several sizes
  • Elastic bandage
  • Antiseptic wipes
  • Soap
  • Antibiotic cream (triple-antibiotic ointment)
  • Antiseptic solution (such as hydrogen peroxide)
  • Hydrocortisone cream (1%)
  • Acetaminophen and aspirin (aspirin is not recommended for children under age 12)
  • Tweezers
  • Sharp scissors
  • Safety pins
  • Disposable instant cold packs
  • Calamine lotion
  • Alcohol wipes or ethyl alcohol
  • Thermometer
  • Plastic gloves (at least 2 pairs)
  • Flashlight and extra batteries
  • Mouthpiece for administering CPR (can be obtained from your local Red Cross)
  • Your list of emergency phone numbers
  • Blanket (stored nearby)

General Safety Tips
The safety of family, home and belongings is critical to all of us. Being prepared and alert can save time, injury and possibly your life. Here are some things to do to help keep your family safe around your home:

  • Store medications and small items such as jewelry and coins where toddlers can’t reach. Be alert for items that would stick in a child’s throat.
  • Lock unloaded guns in a secure place, and store bullets in a separate place. Do not let children see where the gun or bullets are hidden.
  • Put razors, cosmetics and other health and beauty items out of reach.
  • Do not leave hair dryers, curling irons or other grooming appliances out after use.
  • Install child safety latches on cabinets and drawers.
  • Do not store prescription drugs in the bathroom. Find a cool, dry spot in the house that is out of the reach of children, and check for childproof safety caps for medication.
  • Set your water heater temperature at 120 degrees Fahrenheit or lower to prevent burns and scalds.
  • Turn pot handles away from the edge of the stove.
  • Store cleaners and chemicals in their original containers and in locations where children can’t get to them. Never store them under the sink, even if protected by safety latches.
  • Keep knives and other sharp objects out of children’s reach.
  • Tuck away cords of electrical appliances so that small children cannot grab them.
  • Replace electrical cords that are frayed, cracked or that become hot. Do not overload outlets and extension cords. Never run electrical cords under rugs.
  • Put safety caps in all unused electrical outlets.
  • Place house plants out of the reach of children. Some plants are poisonous if eaten.
  • Secure bookcases to the walls to prevent toddlers from pulling them over.
  • Keep tools and garden chemicals out of children’s reach.

Information in this section was compiled from the National Association of Home Builders.

Knowing Your Home
An important step to protecting your home is knowing where potential hazards can occur. Make sure you know the location of the following:

  • main cutoff valves for gas and water
  • main electrical switch
  • fuse of circuit breakers showing which part of the house each one matches
  • hot-water heater thermostat

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