A Guide To Home Safety
Coming home safe and sound doesn’t end your responsibility of staying secure. With the comfort and privacy you feel at home, you probably won’t think of any danger anymore. No matter where you are, crimes, accidents, threats, and natural catastrophes are innate in life. Thus, homes are no exception.
It is important to protect your home against threats like burglary, intrusion and fire. Some acquire expensive home security systems to ensure their home safety. But there are valuable yet effective home safety tips that will protect your family and your home. Learn these simple safety precautions that will reduce the risk of an injury or death occurring in your home without spending too much.
More than 5 million people die annually due to injuries worldwide. It includes unintentional injuries such as drowning, falling, poisoning, and burning that mostly occur at home. Most of the reports claim that children and young adults are the most susceptible to unintentional injuries. Majorly populated with youth, Cambodia is one of the countries that should be aware of home safety precautions. Injury occurrences may pose a serious condition not only to the injured person but to the entire family, luckily these can be preventable.
- Maintain a Good Housekeeping
No matter how much you want to be safe in your own home, accidents can always find a way to occur. Most common accidents happen in the form of cuts, bruises, burns, or any other injuries. The good news is that most of them are preventable when you maintain good housekeeping in your home.
Amongst other family members, the children and elderly require a greater need for attention as they are usually prone to accidents. But even if they lose out of your sight, you can still be confident that they’re safe when you know how to keep things accordingly.
First, your floor and staircase must be clear at all times as they can be the cause of tripping and falling over. Storing dangerous objects out of reach will prevent accidents such as choking, poisoning, and having serious cuts. These include sharp objects, mouthful toys, poisonous liquids, electrical wirings, and glass-made materials.
- Install Gates for Pets and Children
The kitchen is one of those areas at home that contain harmful objects and activities at the same time. It is where you chop meat, boil water, and cook meals. With activities involving knives and stoves, common accidents are obtaining cuts and burns. Areas that contain water storage like swimming pools, garden ponds, and even bathtubs may pose a risk of drowning.
These risks are especially high for those who have pets and children whose playfulness can sometimes get uncontrollable. Thus, child proofing and making it a pet friendly home can prevent them from getting hurt. Installing small gates is an easy way to do it. It locks them in a safe area and gives you ample time to pay attention to other tasks.
Along with that, cautious actions should also be observed such as placing plastic covers in your electrical outlets, keeping small and sharp objects a safe distance, tucking electrical cords behind or under furniture, and staying attentive at all times.
- Equip Your Home with Emergency Necessities
When some preventive methods fail to work, cure is the next method in line. Having a first aid kit in your home is the most immediate emergency response during an accident. From minor to serious injuries, first aid kit can help in preventing the risk of infection and the severity of the injury.
For internal pain, it is beneficial to store essential medicines that treat common ailments like headaches, stomach aches, menstrual cramps, coughs, or colds. Worse comes to worst, when accidents get out of hand, you will need to seek a rescue response or professional help. Keeping an emergency directory will save you time in asking for emergency help and being responded to as soon as possible.
Against Fire Emergency
Home fire is a fear that everyone does not want to experience but it is mostly feared in Cambodia. The growth of the country’s economy resulted in a wide development of high-rise residential buildings across the country. It may be a progressive step for them but it poses an entire set of challenges for authorities especially for firefighters.
Compared to ten years ago where buildings were only three levels high, the newly built infrastractures today feature a minimum of five floors to thirty floors at height. According to the Chief Colonel of Phnom Penh Municipal Fire Department, the ladders of the firetrucks can only reach 40 meters high, which is only equivalent to a ten-floor building.
Therefore, buildings with more than ten floors are most likely to experience a difficulty in getting a rescue and fire emergency response immediately. Good thing there are fire safety precautions to prevent fire from occurring in your house especially in high-rise units.
- Fire Safety Housekeeping
Fires can spread quickly from one house to another. Before this happens, it is important to take careful action, especially to the sources of electricity, heat, and open flames. Necessary measures deal almost entirely in the kitchen.
While cooking, you should not leave the stove unattended. With toasters, ovens, and other appliances that involve heat, do not put items above or near them for it can get hot and can be a hazard. Also, do not wear loose clothes that can get in the way while you’re cooking.
For other areas of the house, never place a candle on top of the tablecloth. Smoking inside can easily top the list of causing home fires. Avoid having octopus electric wires and overload plugs.
- Equip your Home with Fire Protection Devices
More than home destruction, fires are extremely life-threatening, so being prepared is the first step. While it’s easy for new home builders to incorporate fire-resistant materials, it will be difficult for long-time residents to prevent fire. Luckily, there are home fire safety devices that you can install to prevent or alert you with a fire emergency.
Install smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors in some areas of your house, preferably the open ones. It detects the presence of smoke and carbon monoxide gas that can cause suffocation and poisoning. Once detected, devices will sound an alarm which will then signal everyone that there is an emergency.
It is also advisable to keep a fire extinguisher in your kitchen and one on every floor of your home. These are beneficial when all fire protection devices are working properly and you know how to use them.
- Develop a Fire Escape Plan
For a fire emergency, ensure that your family has an escape route. The best way to do this is to make sure that you have a fire safety floor plan in place. One of the easiest ways to do that is to sit around the kitchen, draw a floor plan, and determine all the windows and doors of your house.
In that way, you’ll know how to get out when there’s a fire emergency in the kitchen, in the living room or in one of the bedrooms. Make sure that you have a centralized location where all of the family members can meet as soon as you get outside the house. The best spot could be the mailbox.
Against Threats of Crime
Based on the crime data shown in numbeo, 52% of the crimes in Cambodia are comprised by house break-ins and stealing. However, pickpocketing and snatching remains the highest rate. With the number of snatchers around the community, they may not only be eyeing on people as their victim but also your home.
- Beware of Letting Strangers Into Your Home
Letting strangers into your home is out of your control. There will come a time where you will need those strangers to come, especially when you need something to be fixed. These are the maintenance service providers like plumbers, electricians, pest control, etc.
When someone is in your home, they will always have time to look around. Prior to that event, keep valuable items like cash, jewelry, and electronic gadgets out of sight. Leaving any of those unattended makes it too easy and appealing for them to snatch immediately.
Although all of them may not always have bad intentions, it is still better to prevent a bad happening than to resolve it after. Nowadays, many companies that are offering great deals of house maintenance services can turn out to be a hoax. Before calling a home service provider, make sure to check the company’s credibility through reviews and recommendations.
- Putting Doors and Windows at High Priority
It can only take a few minutes for someone to break into your home, and this usually happens in your entrance doors. The locks hold the most significant responsibility of protecting your home from trespassers and uninvited people. Whether you’re inside or outside the house, make it a habit to always leave the doors locked, including the garage doors. When you’re at home, you have to ensure your family’s safety; when you’re all outside, it’s the safety of the property and your belongings.
For maximum protection, you can install a heavy-duty deadbolt lock. It’s called deadbolt because it doesn’t contain springs and can only be opened by rotating the key. Therefore, there are no other ways to open it without having the right key.
Yet with keys prone to misplacement, labeling it may not be a good idea. It will be easier for someone to find and break into your home once you lose them. Hiding it to common spots like under doormats or among fake rocks are also not considered. It’s best to leave your keys to trusted relatives or neighbors.
Breaking through the windows is another way to enter the house. To prevent this, you should consider installing grills, especially for bungalow houses. If grills are unlikeable means, you can reinforce your windows with protective films, shatterproof glass, or security screens.
- Keep a Clean Lawn, Keep the Lights On
Criminals like to get into the houses where they can quickly enter and escape. These houses are those with long hedges around the lawn or those with the dark surroundings. To rob them from getting a hiding spot, make sure to keep the paths clean and remain your lights open at night. This will not only make your home neat, but it will denote that the people who live inside care about their homes.
It is also advisable to put the number of your house on a clear sight. Since time is crucial for emergencies, the time spent in finding your residence count. It will win extra time for police to respond immediately when they easily identify your house.
- Do Not Give Out Personal Information
Personal Information can easily be accessed today, especially with the publicity and widely used social media sites. Although there are security assurances, it is important to know and limit the information you are sharing. Do not share your scheduled vacations, home aloneness, or any out of the house activities. Unguarded houses make it easy for intruders to break-in.
With mobile and telephones, you should be careful with unfamiliar service companies that call and ask questions about your workplace and hours or about the people who live with you. It’s one of the methods thieves used to the history of the property and the most suitable time for breaking in.
These are just a few of precautionary measures you can do to keep your family safe at home. In case of emergency, make sure that you have all the emergency contact information of your local government. Check out this list of emergency hotline in Cambodia.