Five Cheap–And Embarrassingly Easy–Ways To Save Your Life

Five Cheap–And Embarrassingly Easy–Ways To Save Your Life


You’ve read the same stories I have–about the family of 6 who perishes in a fire, because they took the batteries out of the smoke detector to put into the tv remote?  We just can’t believe that those emergencies we read about actually happen.


Heartbreaking.  Even more so because the loss was so easily preventable.  In fact, there’s a score of cheap and almost embarrassingly easy precautions to take to save your life–and your family’s.  Read on:


Five Cheap–And Embarrassingly Easy–Ways To Save Your Life

carbon monoxide
1. Buy a carbon monoxide detector

Carbon monoxide is an odorless, colorless and tasteless gas that’s produced by combustion fumes from car exhausts, fuel-burning appliances like camp stoves or generators and charcoal-burning devices like grills.

The CDC says more than 400 deaths a year in the U.S. are caused by carbon monoxide poisoning, making it a leading cause of household poisoning. And its symptoms — including headache, nausea, dizziness, chest pain and unconsciousness — can mimic other ailments.

With that in mind, officials recommend every home has at least one carbon monoxide detector, preferably one on every level and near sleeping areas. Many start at well under $30. The CDC recommends you check a carbon monoxide detector’s batteries twice a year — at the same time you make sure your smoke detector batteries are working.


smoke detector
2. Buy a smoke alarm

A working smoke alarm can give you the essential seconds needed to safely escape from a fire.

There are two basic types of smoke alarms on the market: ionization and photoelectric. The National Fire Protection Association says ionization smoke alarms are most responsive to flaming fires, while photoelectric is more sensitive to smoldering fires.

The U.S. Fire Administration says ionization and photoelectric smoke alarms cost between $6 and $20, while dual sensor smoke alarms range from $24 to $40. Some fire departments will also install battery-operated alarms in your home at no cost. And Consumer Reports says some insurers offer a 5% discount for homes with smoke alarms.


fire extinguisher
3. Buy a fire extinguisher

A portable fire extinguisher can save lives and property by putting out a small fire or containing it until the fire department arrives. It can also help you get out of a burning building safely.

Consumer Reports recommends having a full-floor multipurpose fire extinguisher on each level of your home, as well as one in the garage, and smaller extinguishers for the kitchen and car. The cost can run anywhere from the tens of dollars for a small extinguisher to well into the hundreds of dollars.

The U.S. Fire Administration also recommends you get training in the proper use and maintenance of fire extinguishers.

But no matter how many fire extinguishers you might own, “nothing can substitute for the most important safety tool: a fire plan,” say the folks at This Old House. “Make sure everyone in the family knows how to get out in a hurry, where to meet outside, and how to call 911. Even if you think you’ve put out the fire on your own, don’t cancel that emergency call. Leave it to the pros to decide if it’s really out.”


ski helmet
4. Wear a helmet

Properly wearing a helmet when moving fast — on the road or on the slopes — is your best means of protection against a life-threatening injury. The CDC says about 1,000 people die in the U.S. each year from bicycle crashes — and over 60% of those bicycle-related deaths are due to head injuries.

However, according to the ThinkFirst National Injury Prevention Foundation, bike helmets prevented an estimated 75% of bicycle fatalities among children in 2000. And up to 88% of critical head and brain injuries can reportedly be prevented by using a helmet.

Motorcycle helmet laws are controversial, and helmets are currently mandatory for motorcyclists in fewer than 20 states. But a 2011 Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine study found that motorcycle helmets not only save lives and reduce head injury but — contrary to a long-time rumor — actually lessen the chances of cervical spinal injuries. Not bad for an investment that can cost under $100.

5. Get a DIY survival kit for the home

Natural disasters occur all the time, and all over the country. And preparing some basic, essential survival gear can help you get through times when normal life is temporarily disrupted, or worse.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency recommends some of the following basics for a home-made, home survival kit:

  •   One gallon of water per person per day, for drinking and sanitation
  •   At least a three-day supply of non-perishable food, and a can opener
  •   A battery-powered radio and a NOAA Weather Radio with tone alert, and extra batteries
  •   Flashlight and extra batteries, or the wind-up variety
  •   First-aid kit
  •   Whistle to signal for help
  •   Moist towelettes, garbage bags and plastic ties for personal sanitation
  •   Dust mask or cotton t-shirt to help filter the air
  •   Plastic sheeting and duct tape
  •   Wrench or pliers to turn off utilities
  •   A can opener for food

Other important parts of your survival kit: disinfectant, household chlorine bleach as an emergency water treatment (16 drops of regular household bleach per gallon of water), and important family documents in a waterproof and portable container.


Want more information?  There’s more great ideas from this source–click here for MSN/Money/com

5 ways to save your life


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One response to “Five Cheap–And Embarrassingly Easy–Ways To Save Your Life”

  1. […] in our arsenal to protect ourselves and the ones we love. I posted the first five ideas yesterday, click here if you haven’t read them.  Ready for […]

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