1. The fire extinguisher: It’s recommended that you keep at least one fire extinguisher on every floor. You should also keep one in the garage and in the basement.
2. Staircases and banisters: A loose railing or banister could spell disaster. Regularly check your stairs and the accompanying railings to make sure they’re secure.
3. Smoke detectors: Be diligent about testing your smoke alarms (and carbon monoxide detectors) and replacing batteries. According to the Federal Emergency Management Agency, smoke detectors should be tested at least once a month, and batteries should be replaced at least twice a year. A good rule of thumb is to change the batteries when you adjust your clocks for daylight savings.
4. Electrical outlets: Outlets in kitchens and bathrooms should have a “test” button. It’s part of a system that prevents electrocution. Plug in a hair dryer, and push the “test” button—the hair dryer should turn off right away.
5. Water quality: If you’ve never tested your water for harmful contaminants, you can purchase a kit to test it yourself, or hire a professional.