"On Your Own" Home Safety Checklist

Telephone

  • List important numbers beside each telephone and/or program them in. You can print and fill out a form like this one.
  • Equip your phone with an answering device or service so it can take messages.
  • Have a phone with caller I.D. Tell your child to answer the phone only for specific callers. Let the phone take a message for all others.
  • Install a wireless home monitoring system that will alert you to when your child returns home. Receive these alerts to your cell phone, office phone, BlackBerry or email. Adding a video camera can provide an extra layer of security so you can be aware even when you are not there.

Security

  • Provide secure locks for all doors and windows.
  • Store matches, lighters, medications, household cleaners, and other toxic substances in a safe place. Make sure they are clearly labelled and in their original containers.
  • Lock up alcoholic beverages, and check to make sure they do not mysteriously disappear.
  • Store firearms and ammunition separately and under lock and key.
  • Use light timers so your child doesn't come home to a dark house.

Fire Safety

  • You must have a smoke alarm on each level of the house (or for homes on one level, near the kitchen and all bedrooms). Test them to make sure they all work.
  • Replace any broken electrical cords and use no more than two plugs per outlet.
  • Keep your hot water heater below 60 C to prevent scalding.

First Aid

Assemble a basic kit with your child, explaining what each item is and how to use it. Include:

  • box of different-sized bandages for small cuts;
  • sterile gauze pad for larger cuts, with adhesive tape to hold it and small scissors to cut the tape;
  • tweezers to remove slivers;
  • peroxide to clean cuts and cotton balls to apply it; and
  • digital thermometer to check for fever.

Keep a cold pack in the freezer.

Power Outages

  • Keep a flashlight or two (and extra batteries) handy.
  • Provide a few items that can run on batteries, e.g. radio, clock, electronic games.