General Home Safety for Teens

General home safety concerns for adolescents are similar to those for the rest of the family. For example, make sure there is a smoke detector and carbon monoxide (CO) detector on every level of your home and outside of every sleep area. Replace alkaline batteries every 6 months and replace detectors every 10 years. Follow manufacturer's instructions for installation and use of smoke detectors and CO detectors.

Privacy is very important for adolescents. If your teenager's bedroom is located on another level of the home (e.g., in the basement), follow local building codes to make sure that he or she is safe in case of flood, fire, earthquake, or severe storm. If a space heater is required for adequate warmth, make sure it is marked by Underwriters Laboratories Inc. (UL) and that your teen knows how to use it safely.

Keep a fire extinguisher in your home and make sure your teen knows how to use it. Post emergency phone numbers and information about how to locate your home (e.g., address, nearby landmarks) near each telephone. Include the following numbers:

  • Poison control
  • Pediatrician
  • Police department
  • Fire department
  • Ambulance service
  • Trusted neighbor or nearby friend

Teach teens how to safely operate any appliance before allowing them to use it independently. Do not allow adolescents to operate riding lawnmowers until the age of 16 or older.

Publication Review By: Stanley J. Swierzewski, III, M.D.

Published: 27 Aug 2008

Last Modified: 28 Aug 2015