Each year, household accidents contribute to approximately 20 million hospital visits and 20,000 deaths, primarily afflicting children and the elderly. Thankfully, many common incidents can be avoided simply by implementing effective safety precautions in your home.
Fires are some of the most common accidents that occur in homes throughout the world, and many are preventable. Begin creating a fireproof home by installing several smoke alarms throughout your house; place one in every bedroom, kitchen, living room, hallway, and on every level of your home.
In addition to smoke alarms, it’s a good idea to have your home’s wiring inspected, have large appliances, such as laundry machines and dishwashers, consistently cleaned and maintained, and place several fire extinguishers strategically around your home.
One commonly ignored home-fire risk is daisy-chaining, or interconnecting electrical cords, in your house. Make sure never to overwhelm an electrical outlet, as it may create a spark and ignite a fire in a matter of seconds.
Appliances, large and small, often contribute to household accidents due to malfunctions, improper maintenance, and carelessness. To prevent injuries such as cuts and bruises, as well as fires, make sure you shut off an appliance immediately after you have finished using it. It’s also a good idea to unplug appliances that you don’t frequently use the throughout the day.
When you utilize an appliance that generates heat, such as a stove or curling iron, never leave the room while it’s on. Children and pets can easily touch or knock over hot appliances, creating serious burns as well as potential house fires.
Many household accidents, especially falls, occur in bathrooms. Slippery showers and bathroom floors can create an accident-waiting-to-happen type of scenario if you don’t take the proper home-safety precautions.
Placing floor-grips in bathtubs and showers are proactive ways to create a safe, slip-free bathing environment. Shower rails and bathroom rugs with rubber undersides near the tub also help to ensure a safe entrance and exit during daily bathing experiences.
Keep your bathroom clean and free of clutter to prevent additional falls. Soap scum, mildew, and conditioner residue can each create a surprisingly slippery bathing event. When showers are packed with excess shampoo bottles, and you begin to run out of shelf space, your soaps may fall to the floor with the slightest bump, creating a tripping hazard.
Bathing children is another important safety aspect to consider. Even a minimal amount of water present in a bathtub can create a drowning hazard for infants; therefore, you should never leave a young child alone, even for a second, during bath time.
4. Tripping hazards
It may not occur to you that certain items and areas in your home may be traps for tripping, but for an elderly visitor or during a careless moment for anyone, certain sections of your house can become highly dangerous.
Loose carpets, area rugs, and especially throw rugs on top of carpets are tripping hazards that should always be avoided. If you choose to keep a rug near a doorway to prevent dirt and precipitation from being tracked into the household, make sure to purchase a rug with a gripped, rubber underside. If a carpet gets worn or the corners begin to curl, discard it immediately; flipped rug edges can easily trip even the most agile person.
Stairway trips and falls are extremely common and potentially fatal accidents that can often be avoided by maintaining clutter-free stairs covered with non-slippery flooring.
Additionally, always make sure electrical cords are removed from commonly traveled areas in your home.
Cuts, burns, and scrapes often occur while preparing meals and snacks in kitchens. In an attempt to avoid these injuries, practice some basic safety by using knives cautiously, unplugging unused appliances, and never leaving a hot stove or oven unattended.
Due to the fact that children generally suffer many home injuries due to their curiosity and lack of household skills, it is vital to childproof your property.
Always keep doors and windows locked to prevent falls, trips, and other injuries. Lock away all cleaning products, as young children can consume poisonous products without knowing it.
Make sure all potentially dangerous objects are secured and unavailable to children. Keep any firearms in a locked compartment, preferably unreachable for children. Remove any objects that are small enough to swallow from their vicinity and cap all electrical outlets with plastic covers. Confirm that large furniture structures are steady, secured, and will not tip over.
After you have implemented all of your childproof precautions throughout your home, have a home-safety chat with your kids and let them know what is dangerous and how to avoid injuries.
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“Most Common Domestic Injuries.” Top 10 Injuries. Web. 30 Apr. 2015. <http://top10injuries.com/most- common-injuries-at-home/>.
“The Top 5 Causes of Home-Related Accidents.” Del Mar Times. Web. 30 Apr. 2015. <http://www.delmartimes.net/news/2013/may/30/the-top-5-causes-of-home-related- accidents/>.