This is not a drill: The 10 safety essentials you need in your home


Jade Poole from I write words

10 safety essentials you need in your home

Here are the 10 things you need in your home to keep you prepared and ready for any situation.

When it comes to safety training and being prepared to react to an emergency swiftly and efficiently, having multiple options put in place is an empowering way for you to actively participate in your home safety and security. Whilst we will be by your side in the event of a health, home or vehicle emergency, we can’t be there in the moment with you whilst these things happen (don’t worry, our time travel guys are getting on it).

Safety Essentials

1.   Your first aid kit:

A first aid kit is used to care for somebody who has been injured and isn’t able to gain immediate medical attention. It is the first response to an injury that will either suffice until the injury is healed or until the injured person is taken in by medical professionals. Okay, let’s dork out over some cool first aid essentials you need:


  1. Adhesive bandages
  2. Elastic bandages
  3. Gauze pads and roll
  4. Athletic tape
  5. Duct tape (not really a bandage but great for quick-fix solutions)
  6. Burn shield


  1. Latex gloves
  2. CPR face shield
  3. Trauma shears/pocket knife
  4. Tweezers
  5. Paper and Pencil


  1. Ibuprofen
  2. Antihistamine
  3. Antibiotic ointment

If you’re keen to check out a more in-depth look at first aid kits - we’ve got it covered right here!

2. Somebody in the home with a First Aid Course

As we mentioned earlier, you are only as prepared as the last time you practised.

Whether you live alone or in a family unit, it will always be a good idea to have somebody in the home who has had some sort of safety training. Luckily today most companies and professions provide or require safety training but taking a specialised course if you can afford it is a great investment. Knowing what to do in the event of a heart attack, stroke or burn will make you feel all the calmer when confronted with an emergency.

3. A fire extinguisher (that you know how to handle)

If you know how and when to use it, a fire extinguisher is a must-have for your home safety collection. Fire extinguishers are used for controlling fires that are detected early. Either you can put out the fire entirely or keep the fire suppressed until help is near.

The golden rule with fires? Remember that getting everybody out of the house is the most important thing. More important than property and possessions and definitely more important than staying to fight a fire that is beyond your ability to safely handle.

Using a fire extinguisher without knowing how to use it can be more dangerous than not using it at all (refer to essential number 2 on our list - this applies to fire safety courses, too!). Using the wrong extinguisher on the wrong fire (a water-based extinguisher for an electrical fire, for example) can make matters exponentially worse.

Sound the Alarm(s)

4. A smoke detector

To be the first to know about an emergency in your home, what better way than to install alarms from the get-go? Alarms are designed as a call-to-action. They are loud, obnoxious reminders that something is amiss in your home and that your attention is needed ASAP! A smoke alarm is a sure-fire way to detect flames early on as the smoke rises to the ceiling. It also won’t hurt to have smoke detectors for your insurance policy.

5. A burglar alarm

A home burglar alarm is a non-negotiable in a country with a home invasion rate like South Africa (if you are a single woman living alone, we’d love for you to read more about keeping yourself safe in your home by clicking here).

A burglar alarm is a deterrent to intruders and in most instances will be a requirement for your home insurance policies.

6. A carbon monoxide detector

Carbon monoxide is created by burning a carbon fuel - like the gas from your stove or the gas that comes out of your car engine. When natural gases such as gasoline, coal, wood or heating oil fail to burn, the result is carbon monoxide.

In confined spaces, carbon monoxide is hugely hazardous to your health. The odourless, colourless gas is almost impossible to detect without a detector so best you get on that!

Prep Time

7. Home Insurance (number 7 on the list but number 1 in our hearts)

We don’t want to insult your intelligence by thinking you would forget home insurance, but here’s a quick brush up just in case.

Your home is worth a whole financially and sentimentally, which is why it would be nuts to live in your home whilst it is uninsured. The big moments in your life deserve to be protected and your home is high up on the list! With Oneplan, your home-insurance experience is bound to be more simple than you could imagine. Find out everything you need to know about Oneplan Home Insurance by giving this blog a read.

8. A household “grab bag”

Onboard a sea vessel, there is an essential safety item called a grab bag. This bag stores all passports, boat papers and valuables of the crew in the event of a boat evacuation. Personally, we think that would be a pretty great addition to your home safety essentials. This can take the form of a moveable safe or a plastic folder - whichever is easiest to grab in the event of a quick evacuation from the home.

9. A kit for when the lights go out

And boy oh boy, do our lights go out.

You don’t have to be a citizen who is late on their electricity bill to experience power outages, we’re sure you know. With electricity being cut off at any given moment, you must have some torches, solar lights and candles available to keep everybody safe from banging knees and twisting ankles in the disorientating dark.

Load shedding is also convenient for criminals and you having lights available or, best-case scenario, a generator can be an effective deterrent.

10. Emergency phone numbers

Let’s be real: if you have kids in the house, what are the chances they know more than one phone number? Not very high. Having these numbers in a visible, easy-to-find location in your home will make any response to an emergency situation go that much more smoothly. Check out and print these 9 numbers you should have upon the fridge and on your phone!

When it comes to peace of mind, we understand what it means to have a simple, seamless insurance experience. We’re excited to be a part of your home-owning journey!


Yours in forward-thinking insurance, 


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