Here's an alarming stat: According to the Home Safety Council, home accidents cause 20,000 deaths in the United States annually (by comparison, 742 are from planes and just 70 from lightning). But don't shop for a hard hat or an indoor sprinkler system just yet-there are easy ways to stay safe in every room.
In the kitchen have:
An idiotproof extinguisher: The how-to's on the First Alert Heavy-Duty Fire Extinguisher ($30; amazon.com) are clearly illustrated so you know exactly what to do in an emergency.
An oven mitt that'll take the heat: The Ove Glove ($15; Target) has a nonslip grip and can withstand temperatures up to 540˚F, thanks to its combo of Kevlar and Nomex--the same flame-resistant materials found in firefighters' gear.
A stocked first-aid kit: You could buy a ready-made version, but it likely won't include everything you need (The FEMA website has a comprehensive list).
In the bathroom have:
Easy-to-install grab bars: Unlike previous incarnations, the new SecureMount grab bars from Homecare by Moen ($30 to $50; Lowe's stores) require close to zero handyman skills. And they can be safely mounted horizontally, vertically, or diagonally.
Antiscald devices: If you set your hot water heater to 120°F, you won't get a sizzling blast in the shower when someone flushes. Renters or condo residents who don't have access to the water heater can try the ScaldShield Anti-Scald Device ($35; Antiscald Inc.). The faucet-mounted unit restricts water flow to a trickle if the temp hits about 117°F.
In the living room have:
Furniture straps Got kids? More than 3,000 toddlers visit the ER annually for injuries caused by toppling furniture; TVs, bookcases--any heavy object can be a hazard if it's not secured to a wall stud. Experts like Furniture Wall Straps from Safety First ($4; Babies R Us). They're simple to install and restrain objects that weigh 200-plus pounds.
A CO detector: The Kidde Digital Battery-Operated CO Alarm 900-0146 ($40; Target) is a favorite. One reason: It carries the Underwriters Laboratories label (a UL inside a circle), which lets you know that the product has been thoroughly tested and inspected. Put CO detectors on every level of your home and within 10 feet of each bedroom.
In the bedroom have
High-tech smoke detectors: A detector that allows you to record your own warning and escape instructions, like the SignalOne Vocal Smoke Alarm 012504 ($30; amazon.com) is a great option if you have kids, who are more likely to follow instructions if it's your own voice (and you may be disoriented and forget your escape plan).
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[photo credit: Getty Images]