Every year we get to do this! Think about the future, examine our lives, and set big goals for the new year. Let’s do it a bit differently this time.
Let’s think about what we have seen. Reflect on changes in our lives and those of our families. Do we have young children growing fast? Do we have teenagers who seem to change day to day? Do we have older parents and are they changing, too? And for ourselves?
Here are five ways to make our homes a safer space in 2023:
For confidence and peace of mind, do your fire safety plan. Take the time to draw the sketch of the house and locate doors, windows, escape routes, and meeting places. Then pick one day to practice – in the afternoon and after dark. Who found a flashlight? Who closed the doors behind them? Who called (pretend, of course) the fire department? Who checked for the pets? Who was so nervous that they forgot everything? What did everyone learn from the practice? You can expand the practice to include other disaster preparations as well for hurricanes, earthquakes, and tornados. This practice is important for families of all ages and especially if you will have more family members moving in during 2023.
Get the kitchen fire extinguisher and put it in an easily accessible spot. Get a fire extinguisher and place it in the garage, too.
Put grab/safety bars in all the bathrooms: in the shower, tub/shower area, or outside for ease of stepping in and out. Consider replacing the toilet paper holder with a special one designed to provide support when standing or sitting. These handholds are important for all ages!
Take a fresh look at where household items have accumulated and clear clutter from walkways, hallways, and stairs. Affix the corners of any loose rugs to the floor surface because living rooms can be as likely a place to fall as the bathroom!
Upgrade night lights to rechargeable night lights, motion sensors, and flashlight combination devices that will serve every day, intermittently, and in emergency times. Double-check the lighting by all stairs, both inside and outside of the house; then add or repair as necessary.
This is not a long list. With focus, you can knock it out in January! The whole idea is to not wait until next December or a preventable fall or emergency and say “oh, woulda, shoulda, coulda”.
Let’s make 2023 the year that we take the action steps to help ourselves and our families!