You typically have milk in the fridge, bread in the pantry, and clean towels in the linen closet. But to help ensure your family’s health and safety in a variety of situations, consumer watchdogs say, here are eight things every home should have:

  • First Aid Kit

A fully stocked first aid kit, including band-aids, rolled gauze bandages, safety pins, surgical tape, antibiotic cream, etc., belongs in every kitchen. Check it regularly and replace items as needed.

  • Power Outage Basics

These include a few flashlights of different sizes, replacement batteries, candles, and matches, as well as some bottled water and canned foods.

  • Smoke Alarm

Placed in the main hallway, outside each sleeping area, and on every level of the home, these offer fire warnings in time to get the family to safety in case of a fire.

  • Fire Extinguisher

Keep one handy in the kitchen, in the garage, and in the second-story area, if you have one.

  • Carbon Monoxide Detector

Carbon monoxide is known as an ‘invisible killer’ because it’s a toxic gas that you can’t see or smell. A detector can alert you to the presence of the gas in time to get to safety. Install one on every level of your home.

  • Whistles

It’s a good idea to keep a few whistles handy on each floor and tell family members to blow them if they spot something going wrong, such as a fire breaking out or a person or animal breaking in.

  • Emergency Contact List

A list of phone numbers for family doctors, nearest adult relatives, poison control office, and health insurance information, should be posted on the inside of a kitchen cabinet. You can also include parents’ cell phone numbers and be sure every babysitter or caregiver knows where to find them.

  • Disaster Kit

This is the biggie, a go-bag or barrel equipped with what you need to feed, water, and care for your family for a few days in case of a natural disaster. Research common occurrences in your area and be sure your disaster kit is fully equipped.

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