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Tips for new homeowners

Moving homes is always a daunting task with many details to remember, organize or update. Whether you’re moving into a new house or renting an apartment, the task of packing and moving is challenging Safety tips for settling a new homeenough, so make it easier with these tips.

Some tasks are more critical than updating address and setting up Internet connection, so here’s some information and checklist of resources to help properly prepare your new home.

New to the neighbourhood

First, familiarize yourself with the risks in your new community. In order to know the risks in your community, call your local municipality and ask what types of risks are common in the area and download the 72 Hour Guide to Emergency Preparedness.

Preparing for risks present in your community includes making and practising a plan to deal with any emergencies that may arise. Make a plan so everyone in the household knows how to evacuate, and where the emergency kit and water supplies are located.

If you don’t have an emergency kit, get a kit. Getting or making a kit is the final step in being ready for any emergency. Make sure your kit is ready-to-go to suit your needs for at least 72 hours.

Safety planning in the home

Home fires are unfortunately a common personal disaster, especially in winter months and around holidays, so here is a checklist to properly plan for one:
  1. Ensure everyone in the household knows your emergency planCreate a fire plan with your family and practice it twice a year. Your plan should include a floor plan of your home with all possible emergency exits; who will assist family members needing assistance i.e. elderly, disabled, small children; and a place outside for your family to meet.
  2. Learn fire safety techniques and teach them to your family regularly. Make sure everyone is familiar with the technique “STOP, DROP, AND ROLL” in case clothing catches on fire.
  3. Install smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors on every level of your home. Test them every month and replace the batteries at daylight savings time each year.
  4. Keep items that can catch on fire at least three feet away from heat sources i.e. space heaters.
  5. Never leave candles unattended and use deep, wide containers to hold them.
  6. Stay in the kitchen when using the stove top. If you have to leave the room, turn off the stove. Keep anything that can catch on fire – i.e. clothes, towels, plastic, and oven mitts- away from the stove.
  7. Talk to children about the dangers of fire and keep lighters and matches out of reach. Show children smoke alarms and what to do if one sounds.
  8. Make sure everyone in the household knows how to call 9-1-1.
Find out more information on what to do during and after a house fire.

Final steps to ready your home

Now that you know the risks in your community, have planned for them with an emergency kit ready, here are a few more tips to finish settling in your new home.
  • Identify your severe weather shelter. Know where to take cover if a violent storm or tornado hits. The basement or a windowless room on the ground floor can serve as a temporary shelter.
  • Be Ready appKeep a first aid kit readily available in your home; store it in a dry place and replace used or outdated content regularly.
  • Learn first aid to know how to respond to any emergencies with our First Aid at Home courses.
  • Download our free First Aid app to your phone to have more resources at your fingertips should a common emergency occur.
  • Download our Be Ready app for instant access to information needed in order to prepare for different disasters from floods, power outages to earthquakes.
  • Learn more at
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