1. Fit smoke alarms – the simplest and cheapest safeguard to give early warning of a fire, prevent a major fire developing and give you time to get you and the kids to a safe place. Fire safety in the home contains essential advice on what and where to fit.
2. Ensure you have adequate home contents insurance. It’s cheaper than you think and is even cheaper if you combine with buildings insurance, have an intruder alarm, lockable windows and a good no claims record.
3. Gather all your important documents together including passports and put them in a secure place – a decent quality home safe preferably with fire resistance or a fire safe security cash box is ideal. Be sure to bolt it down to something solid to thwart the opportunist thief.
4. Reduce nuisance phone calls that invariably come in the middle of the evening meal by registering with the Telephone Preference Service at http://www.tpsonline.org.uk/tps/index.html or call 0800 398 893. This only works for UK organisations and takes about a month for these calls to stop. Unfortunately some other unwanted calls are more difficult to stop.
5. Put a No Cold Callers sign on the gate – they used to say No Hawkers in my day but the effect is the same in preventing hard sell salesman and dubious religious disciples arriving at your back door. You can download a No Cold – Callers sign from http://www.moneysavingexpert.com/phones/no-more-junk
6. Invest in a fire blanket and ABF or Wet Chemical fire extinguisher for the kitchen where 75% of all home fires start. Make sure everyone in the house knows where they are kept and how to use them.
7. Draw up a Fire Action Plan with the whole family to agree what to do in the event of a fire and who should do it.
8. If you have lockable windows that may provide a means of escape make sure there is a release key in every habitable room. Obviously don’t leave in full view on the windowsill or in the lock.
9. If your family needs to access the house at different times rather than have several duplicate main door keys install a key safe box by the door. It’s far safer than leaving a key “under the mat” or risking being locked out should a key go missing.
10. Of course even with the best planning and good intentions tragedies will still happen so make a Will to save your family the hassle and expense of a protracted Probate. If you have young ones discuss and agree who you would want to be their future Guardians if the worst happens and include in the Will or separate legal statement.
If you have any further suggestions on actions to make home life worry free let us know.