Here's how to make your home safer in the next 30 minutes.

By Katie Holdefehr
May 01, 2020
Each product we feature has been independently selected and reviewed by our editorial team. If you make a purchase using the links included, we may earn commission.
Advertisement

With most of us spending more time at home than ever before, quarantine is prompting many of us to not only reconsider our decor and rethink our paint choices, but also reevaluate the safety of our houses. Luckily, there are some easy ways to improve everything from the air quality to your home's fire safety—and most of these ideas take less than half an hour to complete. Here are some simple ways to make your home safer in the next 30 minutes.

1
Test Your Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Detectors

Go around the entire house, checking the battery on each smoke detector. Typically, all this requires is pressing down the "test" button for a few seconds until the alarm sounds. And if it's silent? Replace the batteries immediately.

While you're at it, check all of the carbon monoxide detectors in your home as well. Don't have a carbon monoxide detector on every floor of our house? Don't worry, you can order them online.

2
Keep Your Kitchen Fire-Safe

As we're all cooking at home more often, take a few precautions against kitchen fires. Move any flammable items, like dishtowels or oven mitts, that you have stored too close to the stovetop. Keep a pot lid nearby as you cook, in case you need it to snuff out cooking fires (remember, you don't want to pour water on a grease fire). It's also a smart idea to keep a fire extinguisher in your kitchen, particularly one intended for grease fires ($20, homedepot.com).

What should you do if a fire starts in your oven or microwave? Keep the door shut and turn off or unplug the appliance.

3
Check the Outlets

With everyone home, the electrical outlets around your house are now charging multiple phones, laptops, TVs, and Nintendo Switches at once. To prevent an electrical fire, take some time to check each outlet to make sure it's not overloaded.

While you're at it, look for any frayed charging cords and make sure wires run along the walls so they don't present a tripping hazard.

4
Prevent Slips and Falls

Let's face it: when we know that no one's coming over to our houses anytime soon, it can be easy to let the clutter build. One reason to clean up: the kids' toys and books littering the floor could lead to trips and falls. Before you go to bed, take 15 to 20 minutes to simply clear off the floor and common pathways around your house, even if you don't take the time to put it all away just yet.

5
Instantly Improve the Air Quality

If you have a humidifier, it's probably time to clean it. Without regular cleaning, the humidifier could be spreading germs and mold through the air.

Before you turn on the AC for the season, take some time to dust all of the air vents and change the filter. And remember to switch on the kitchen exhaust fan each time you cook.

RELATED: 7 Easy Ways to Improve the Air Quality Inside Your Home

6
Store Cleaning Products Safely

If you've stocked up on serious cleaning products recently, make sure you're storing them safely, out of the reach of children and pets. If they're currently stashed under the sink, consider relocating them to the shelf of a closet or a locked cabinet if you have one. Double check that each product is clearly labeled.

RELATED: 5 Dangerous Mistakes to Avoid When Using Cleaning Products