Your family is the only genuinely irreplaceable thing in your life. You can always buy new stuff or a new home, but your partner and children are one-of-a-kind. Understandably, you’d want to do everything within your power to look after them — including investing in your home’s safety.
If your family’s well-being makes your anxious-parent brain spin, you may wonder where to start making improvements. Home safety upgrades can get expensive, so how do you know what changes will be worth the cost? Here are seven investments of varying cost ranges worth the price tag.
1. Furniture Anchors
In only three years, 11,100 kids went to the ER because of a tip-over accident. Any free-standing heavy furniture poses a fall risk, especially pieces that change their center of gravity like dressers or are easily climbable like bookshelves. Reaching up to touch the enticing screen makes TVs another major contributor to crush injuries in children.
Keep your kids safe by installing furniture anchors on any potentially harmful pieces in your home. Pay special attention to the main living areas and the kids’ rooms. Anchor kits are inexpensive and easy to find at most retailers and online. They’re easy to install, needing only a drill and a stud finder.
2. Pool Fence
Home pools are a great addition to any family home but pose a serious threat to your family’s safety if you don’t properly maintain them. Drowning is the number one cause of accidental death for one to four-year-olds and approximately 389 children die annually in pool or spa-related drownings.
If your home has a pool, the best investment you could make is to enclose it with a fence. Invest in one with a lock. You also want to check that the fence is tall enough so kids can’t climb over easily and the slats are close enough together that children can’t squeeze through.
You can purchase relatively inexpensive fences — but in most cases, you’ll get the quality you pay for. If you want to take safety one step further, add a motion sensor to the gate that beeps when you open it.
3. Cordless Blinds
The dangling cords of traditional window blinds are a strangulation hazard for young children. When they reach out to play with them, it’s all too easy to get tangled up and choke. In fact, blinds injure an average of two kids per day and kill one child every month.
If you’re on a budget, tying the cords up far out of reach can prevent most incidents. Also, you should keep cribs, beds, couches and climbable furniture away from windows with corded blinds so kids won’t be able to reach them easily. However, the best way to prevent these injuries is to replace any old blinds in your home with updated cordless versions.
4. Security System
A home security system is a significant financial investment, but not as much as in the not-too-distant past. Advances in technology have helped make them more affordable, allowing more families the ability to purchase them for their homes.
Most newer security systems are wireless, so intruders can’t disable them as easily, giving you peace of mind against break-ins. Nowadays, security systems are capable of so much more than simply warning you if someone breaks in — they can also help you manage your home.
A sound security system will allow you to keep doors locked against little escape artists leaving home. Also, you’ll be able to keep an eye on older children who are home alone.
5. Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarms
A fatal house fire occurs every three hours in the U.S. Without the warning of an alarm, you’d have precious little time to get your family to safety.
Having updated smoke and carbon monoxide detectors in your home is absolutely essential. You should test them monthly and replace them every 10 years to keep them functioning correctly.
Another critical aspect of an alarm system is interconnection — if one goes off, they all do. Children don’t always wake to the sound of an alarm, so if something happens outside their room, you’d also hear the alarm in yours.
6. Safety Locks and Outlet Covers
Child safety locks and outlet covers are a vital part of baby proofing for small children. They keep their fingers from being pinched, getting into things they shouldn’t and electrocution. As your children age, they may not need as many protections. However, you might still consider locking cabinets with dangerous items like chemicals, electronics and sharp objects.
Both of these items are inexpensive, so purchase as many as you need to protect your family from potential dangers properly. Once you have unsafe cabinets and outlets covered, you can let your children move more freely through your home without so much worry.
7. Air Purification
If anyone in your family has breathing problems, an air purifier might be a worthwhile investment. These machines can remove allergens such as dust mites, pollen, pet dander, mold and fumes from your home.
Do your research to find a purifier that will suit your family’s needs based on what allergies you have and the size of your home. Steer clear of machines claiming to ionize allergens since these commonly produce ozone as a byproduct.
Safety Worth Splurging On
You can make most of these safety improvements on a budget, saving your family and your wallet. However, you really do get what you pay for with some upgrades, so make sure you do plenty of research. Your family’s safety is one aspect of your home that is definitely worth splurging on.