Home Safety Tips
The following are the most frequent safety issues inside the home with most up-to-date PROVEN prevention tips:
- Falls: Who hasn’t fallen in their home? The Center for Disease Control (CDC) reports that 20% of all falls within the home result in a fracture. Culprits? Slippery floors, running up and down stairs, and scattered objects underfoot are the most common. Solutions include mats on bathroom floors, corralling toys and objects from walkway areas, and installing motion detector lighting & safety bars.
- Fires and Burns: A statistic once cited that every structure will catch fire once every 200 years regardless of the cause. That was before 200 year floods, cyclones, et. al, became the 100 year storms and floods - that seem to be now arriving every ten years! There are many sad horror stories where someone lost a life to smoke inhalation. The single most important thing a homeowner can do is to install fire alarms in every level of the home and change the batteries at least once a year. Smoke detectors themselves must be replaced every 10 years. If you own a home on an alley, display your address on a back wall so the fire department can find the right house to respond to. In this day of multiple charging cables, do not overload outlets. BUY, buy, buy a fire extinguisher. There are now multipurpose ones like “Kidde FA110.” For parents with young children, let the dishes coming out of the dishwasher cool so little fingers don’t burn from touching them just after the cycle. When cooking, use the out-of-reach back burners on a stove.
- CO2/Carbon Monoxide. Did you just read of the poor V.P. of the Washington Area Latter Day Saints dying from carbon monoxide (CO2) poisoning in his sleep? He and his wife moved into their basement during renovations. How innocuous can that be? A furnace/boiler may have malfunctioned and caused accidental CO2 poisoning. CO2 detectors are available, and the best prevention are regular, annual inspections of your HVAC system, the water heater, and any appliances that use hydrocarbons.
- Choking or Unintentional Suffocation Accidents: Choking is the 4th most common cause of accidental death among all age groups, but children age 4 and younger and senior citizens are most at risk. From a bit of dinner going down the wrong way to swallowing a small object. Nuts are of particular hazard for small children of that age. So it’s nut butter and small food bits for them. Learn the Heimlich maneuver. Did you know you can do it to yourself? Tie up curtain cords out of reach to prevent accidental suffocation.
- Cuts: Secure garbage and trash bins so nothing is sticking out. Store tools, knives, scissors, and grooming gear out of reach. Point knives and forks downward within the utensil basket in the dishwasher.
Poisoning: Store medications properly. Dispose of unused meds as instructed. Flushing meds down the toilet is not recommended. So too of chemicals, cleaning supplies, detergents, paint pesticides, and fertilizers. Safety latches for drawers that contain makeup supplies and hair color treatments. Keep activated charcoal on hand in case of accidental swallowing.
Cracks and Openings in the basement and the foundation of your home. Radon is a radioactive gas that is the most common cause of nonsmoking lung cancer. Released by degraded uranium in the soil, it enters the home through cracks and fissures from below. Patch your basement wells and foundation. There are radon test kits.
Drowning: Downing in bathtubs isup 70% over the last ten years per the WSJ. For each child that drowns, it is estimated that 4 children are hospitalized for near drowning. Nearly all who require CPR die or are left with severe brain injury. In the time it takes to cross a room for a towel (10 seconds), a child in a bathtub can be submerged. Answer the phone (2 minutes), a child can lose consciousness. Sign for a package at the front door (4-6 minutes), a child submerged in a tub or pool can sustain permanent brain damage.