Tips on home safety - Fires, Protect Your Child, Trips and Falls
Your home should be a place where you feel warm, safe and protected. However, with nearly 30 thousand fatalities and over 6 million serious injuries in homes in the USA each year, the issue of home safety is one that needs addressing. There are three main causes of accident in the home and when thinking about home safety these should be given most serious consideration.
Over a third of all fatalities and 40% of serious injuries in the home are caused by falls. Most of these involve people over the age of 65. There are a number of simple things you can do to prevent the risk of a fall. All carpets and rugs should be tacked down to prevent tripping or slipping.
Ensure there is good lighting in the house and that walkways are kept clear of clutter, especially at the top of stairs. Phone cords or electrical wires should be tacked down so they are not tripped over. Consider installing stairwell gates and grab handles in showers in homes with very young children or the elderly.
The ingestion of household chemicals and medicines can cause serious damage and in many cases death. Solid or liquid poisoning causes one in fire deaths in the home. Though the majority of serious injury caused by poisoning is to the under 5 age-group, the most fatalities are people aged 15-65. Only purchase medicines and household chemicals in small quantities and with child resistant closures, keep them out of sight and reach of children, and preferably behind child-locked doors. Medicines and chemicals should always be kept in their original packaging so there is no confusion as to what they are.
Fires and burns is the third most common cause of death and accident in the home. Most accidents to do with fires are cause by smoke inhalation. When cooking, avoid wearing loose clothing that could ignite on the stove. Similarly, keep oven mitts and tea towels away from the stove. Install and regularly check home smoke alarms. Keep fire sources such as ashtrays away from beds and sofas. Turn panhandles towards the back of the stove. Restrict the temperature of your hot water to 120 degrees- hot enough to kill germs, but this will significantly reduce the risk of scalds.