Take Care – Great Ways to Injury Proof Your Home
We don’t like to think about the bad things that can happen at home. Your house is your sanctuary; it’s your refuge from the sometimes dangerous and discouraging world outside. But every year, thousands of people are injured while at home – some very seriously. But take heart; there are many ways you can help protect your family from some of the most common injuries occurring at home. The team at Ernest Homes wants to keep everyone in our extended family safe, so we’re sharing these valuable tips with you.
Probably the most common reason people are injured at home, slips, skids and falls can be minimized with a little planning. Make sure to eliminate triggers for tripping by bundling all cords to eliminate risk. Make sure excess lengths of cord are secured with zip ties, rubber bands or “bread bag twisties” to take the cords off the floor. Never run extension cords through traffic areas, and make sure all throw rugs are secured with rug tape. Any spills need to be cleaned up right away to reduce risk. It’s also a good idea to stop placing items at the bottom of the stairs until your next trip up; this habit can increase the chance of trip and fall accidents. Adding grab bars in the bathroom can be helpful if you have seniors or small children using the tub and shower – they help steady and balance your family members on slick, wet surfaces. When storing commonly used items, choose lower cabinets and shelves to avoid using ladders or step stools frequently. Never stand on chairs or counters to reach higher storage areas. Make sure there is always adequate lighting available in every area of your home, and make sure to turn on lights when navigating the house at night.
Candles are lovely to look at and usually spread delightful aromas through your rooms, but they can be a fire hazard. Be careful to place them out of reach of small children and inquisitive pets. Make sure a person of a responsible age is in the room with a lit candle at all times. Monitor your kitchen diligently to avoid issues that can cause burns. Turn all pan handles in toward the center of the stove to prevent accidental spills. Keep hot beverages away from the edges of counters and tables, and make sure you don’t hang dish towels on the oven door handle or on a hook near a stove burner. Speaking of dish towels, NEVER use one to remove hot dishes from an oven, microwave or stovetop - always use pot holders for this task. Keep matches and lighters away from the reach of children. Make sure you have a fire extinguisher within reach while you’re in the kitchen, and remember to never put water on a grease or oil fire. Always put out these fires with your extinguisher. Your hot water heater should never be set above 120 degrees – higher temperatures can lead to devastating scalding accidents.
Speaking of Water…
It isn’t just water temperature you should monitor. We touched on slip and fall accidents in the bathroom already, but there are other water related accidents you need to prevent. It’s critical to keep electric and electronic appliances and devices away from water – water is an excellent conductor for electricity and serious injury can result when the two come in contact. Swimming pools are another high-awareness zone. Make sure pools are fenced in or covered to prevent children from entering the pool without supervision. Only strong swimmers should use a pool alone, and no-one using alcohol should be around the pool while impaired. Keep all glass away from the pool at all times to avoid dangerous exposure to broken shards. And it’s essential to keep toilet lids closed when not in use if you have young children in the house…you get the picture.
Make sure all old or unused chemical products are disposed of properly. Never keep caustic, poisonous or corrosive chemicals in a place where children can get to them. If you do store chemicals, make sure they’re kept in their original packaging to make them easy to identify. Never mix ammonia and bleach while you’re cleaning, as this will cause a highly reactive poisonous gas to form. All medicines should be kept in secured cabinets far from the grasp of children, and leftover prescription drugs should be delivered to a safe disposal center as soon as your need for them is gone.
Suffocation and Choking Threats
Like power cords, all hanging strings and ropes should be bundled or tucked away out the reach of small children. Plastic bags awaiting recycling or reuse need to be stored in a place where young children can’t get to them. Be aware of the suggested age ranges for children’s toys and make sure your smallest charges aren’t playing with toys that have small parts that can be choking hazards. Any small objects that can be tempting to little hands and mouths need to be safely stored out of sight or out of reach. Remind your teens and the adults in the family that cars should never be started in a garage with a closed door, and when the car enters the garage, you need to park and shut off the engine right away. Never sit in a parked, running car once you’ve closed your garage door.
With a little planning, it’s easy to develop new habits that will help your family stay safe at home. And don’t forget to ask our team members for more ways to live safe in your new home…we’re always here to help!