I’m not sure if this is truly considered babyproofing or not, but it’s so important that I wanted to be sure to include it. In addition to the information below, you might want to check out the Consumer Reports guide for additional information.
You should have a smoke detector in every bedroom and outside each sleeping area. This is especially important if you or your child sleeps with the door closed. You want to be sure to detect the fire inside or outside of the bedroom as soon as possible.
If possible, use hard-wired, interconnected smoke detectors, such as the First Alert Hardwired Smoke Alarm (~$20). These do not require batteries, and if one alarm goes off, they all go off. If hardwiring is not an option, the First Alert Battery-Powered Smoke Alarm (~$20) will run on batteries alone.
Test your smoke alarms every month. Change the batteries twice per year.
Carbon Monoxide Detectors
Carbon monoxide is scary. It is a colorless, odorless gas that can kill before you even know it’s there. If you have any fuel-burning appliances in your home (stove, dryer, water heater, furnace, etc), you need carbon monoxide alarms.
You should have a carbon monoxide detector on every level of your home, including the basement, and within 15 feet of each bedroom. The First Alert Dual Power Plug-in Carbon Monoxide Alarm (~$28) is great; stick in the backup batteries, plug it into the wall, test, and you’re all set.
Although there are combination alarms that detect smoke and carbon monoxide, you should really have separate alarms. Smoke alarms are ideally placed on the ceiling, since smoke rises. Carbon monoxide, meanwhile, mixes with the air, and is better detected toward the ground. The ideal placement is around knee level or a bit higher.
I like the carbon monoxide detectors that plug into the wall with battery backup. You’ll find that most home have outlets that are a perfect height for installing a detector. Be sure to keep out of the reach of kids.
Other Fire Safety Considerations
If you have more than one story in your home, get an emergency escape ladder such as the Kidde Two-Story Fire Escape Ladder (~$50). I know, I know, these are rather expensive, and the chances you would ever need one are slim. But I think they are absolutely necessary in the case of a true emergency. Ideally, get one for every bedroom that is not on the first floor of your home.
Make a fire escape plan with your family. The National Fire Prevention Association has a great resource for forming a plan.