West Virginia Assistive Technology System

Safety in the Home

Safety Tips

Everyone should remember a few rules when developing a safety plan for their home.

  • Put good locks on all of your doors. Make sure everyone can use them.
  • Install multiple peepholes on front and back doors. Lower peepholes are better for children and individuals using wheelchairs.
  • Get to know your neighbors. In case you are not home, it is nice to know someone is watching your house.
  • Make sure smoke detectors are installed on every floor, especially in or near bedrooms.
  • Make sure that a telephone is available in or near bedrooms.
  • Test your smoke detectors at least once a year.
  • Post emergency telephone numbers at every phone.
  • Make sure your home is clearly numbered so emergency responders can find you easily.
  • If you are renting, remember that you will be safest living on the ground floor or near an exit door.
  • Know where the main cutoffs are for water, gas and electricity.
  • Keep important papers in a watertight, fire-proof container.

How to Prepare for Emergencies

No matter where you choose to live, you should have a plan prepared to protect yourself and your family in case of emergencies. The plan should be something you do together so everyone knows what to do, who to call and where to go.

Your emergency plan should include:

  • At least two ways out of every room
  • A designated place for your family to gather outside the home
  • A person to call if you become separated during an emergency

You should also have an emergency supply kit prepared and located in a place where you can get to it easily. The kit should include:

  • A battery-powered radio and extra batteries
  • A first aid kit
  • Some water and non-perishable food
  • A flashlight and extra batteries
  • Extra clothing and blankets
  • Special items such as oxygen, medication, a spare pair of glasses, diapers

Special considerations should go into a plan that includes older adults, children or persons with disabilities. If someone in your home is using a wheelchair, you should have more than one accessible exit. You should also call emergency responders (fire department, ambulance services, etc.) and let them know so they can be prepared to assist during an emergency.

Printed materials are available in Braille, electronic format, cassette tape and large print.