Residence: General

Here are some things to consider doing. Some items may not be applicable to you.


  • Establish a plan for escaping your home in the event of fire, smoke, etc., e.g.:

  • Primary escape route from each part of the residence

  • At least one alternate escape route from each part of residence

  • Designate location outside to meet after escaping from the structure to ensure everyone is out

  • Determine which items you would want to get out of your residence in the event of a fire, impending storm, flooding, etc., e.g.:
    • Pictures
    • Will
    • Insurance papers
    • Other important and/or irreplaceable documents

  • Install a carbon monoxide alarm with an audible alarm which is loud enough to wake you — carbon monoxide poisoning is often fatal

  • Determine if any plants in your yard are poisonous and have them removed or ensure your children and pets do not eat them

  • Determine the capacities of decks, balconies, etc.

  • Keep specific directions to your house next to each phone so you can read them to visiting family or friends

To encourage community involvement:

  • Put up a mailbox for items other than U.S. Mail, e.g., notes from neighbors

To help protect against home invasions and burglaries:

  • Determine the non-emergency phone number to call to report suspicious people and/or vehicles to the police and keep it available
  • Install a security system (a hard-wired monitored perimeter alarm is probably most effective)
  • Post signs around your residence (e.g., in your yard, on your windows) stating that your residence is protected by a security system
  • Join your Neighborhood Watch program
  • Install deadbolt locks with full 1" bolts
  • For sliding glass doors, install a locking bar with a blocking device to prevent the bar from being lifted up off their tracks
  • Get a dog or just put a large dog food bowl outside your back door with "Killer", "Bruno", "Brutus", etc. on it

To get quick indication of an earthquake:

  • Place a bottle upside down on a foil or metal pie tin


  • Have your furnace, etc. checked (some utility companies perform inspections for free) can cause carbon monoxide poisoning which is often fatal
  • Report suspicious people and activities to the police

If you have a monitored security system:

  • Keep it armed, especially when you’re home


Thanks for reading!