If you want to keep your family healthy and safe, there are certain steps to take and items to have on hand. Some are geared toward emergencies, others toward daily health needs such as air and water. Both types of items are essential when it comes to protecting the members of your home against any possible danger to their health and safety. Consider these six items to improve and maintain the health of your household, safeguarding against emergencies and daily threats.
First Aid Kit
First aid kits are a must for every household's health. They can be lifesaving collections of important supplies. Start with a cohesive first aid manual. Then begin collecting basic supplies. These include, but are not limited to, adhesive tape, bandage strips as well as butterfly bandages, elastic wrap bandages, cotton balls and swabs, duct tape, safety pins, tweezers, scissors, antibiotic ointment, eyewash solution, and antiseptic solution with towelettes to accompany it. Medications to be included in the kit are calamine lotion, antihistamine, medications for coughs and colds, anti-diarrhea medication, aloe vera gel, laxatives, antacids, and personal medications that can be safely stored without refrigeration. A complete list of what to stock in a full first aid kit can be found here at the Mayo Clinic's site.
Carbon Monoxide Detector
Three elements of carbon monoxide make it highly dangerous: the tiny molecules can travel through drywall, the gas neither sinks nor rises, but mixes with the air, and it is odorless. With no alarm to warn you of the gas's presence, members of your family can be hurt or killed. A carbon monoxide detector will warn you when amounts of the gas reach dangerous levels. One should be placed on each level of the home, with a detector in the master bedroom to alert you in your sleep if necessary.
Your water might contain minerals, dirt, chemicals, and similar impurities that give it a bad smell and taste. Some contaminants might put your health at risk, particularly when they are accompanied by bacteria and organisms that are capable of causing serious illness. When you filter your water with Big Berkey water filters, you purify the liquid, removing impurities while making the water safe to drink with an improved taste.
Upgraded Furnace Filter
Improving indoor air quality can be as simple as upgrading the filter for your furnace. Some models promise the capture of toxic particles such as VOCs, or volatile organic compounds. Burning fuel releases these; fuel types include wood, gasoline, coal, and natural gas. Consumer products such as cigarettes and solvents also release VOCs. A HEPA filter can be used in HVAC systems or air purifiers; these are ideal for sufferers of asthma or allergies.
Emergency Preparedness Kit
Emergencies may require you to survive independently for a matter of several days. Being prepared involves having water, food, and supplies for a minimum of 72 hours. A basic kit should store items in airtight bags of plastic. Keep the entire kit in one to two containers that are easy to carry; consider plastic bins or duffel bags. Include a gallon of water per person for each day, non-perishable food, a radio powered by batteries or a hand crank, a flashlight, extra batteries, and a first aid kit, among other items.
Fire Safety Plan
Fire safety begins with that ubiquitous household item: the smoke detector. You should install one in each bedroom, in the hallway outside of the bedrooms, in stairwells, living spaces, and in storage and utility rooms. They should be placed properly according to type, with wall-mounted alarms positioned less than a foot from the ceiling, for example. Follow the directions included in the packaging. Next, prepare your home with fire extinguishers. There should be one in the kitchen and near any fireplace or woodstove you might have. Finally, have an escape plan with routes accessible from each floor. Ensure the entire family knows what to do in case of various types of fires.
These six items and collections of items are part of a strategy to keep your household safe. Keep them in supply and on hand to encourage a healthy household that is prepared for every contingency. When fires, earthquakes, or accidents occur, these supplies will keep your family in good health.