Do You Have A Prevention and Safety Plan for Your Home?

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Most people feel a sense of security and comfort in their home, and many don’t believe anything bad could happen to them while there. Unfortunately, nothing could be further from the truth, as more accidents happen at home than anywhere else. In fact, more than 18,000 Americans die each year due to accidents at home and there are over 21 million patient trips to doctors, clinics and hospitals for treatments due to injuries incurred while at home.

Does that number surprise you? You may wonder how so many accidents happen at home. The simple answer is – lack of care. Some of the most common causes of home-based accidents are due to inattention and neglect. Below is a list of the most frequent causes of injuries at home, and ideas for preventing them:

Falls

  • Banisters and railings – all stairways, indoors and out, should have banisters and railings to help prevent falls. Most states have laws specifying exactly how long the railing needs to be and where it should be installed – make sure to check your local requirements.
  • Ladder usage – failure to take proper ladder safety measures results in countless injuries every year. Always make sure to check your ladder for damage before use, set it up properly, and follow the manufacturer’s guidelines on weight limit.
  • Clutter and debris – a messy playroom floor or shoes left on the stairs can lead to grave injury. Keep your house and yard free of clutter to avoid accidental trips and falls.

 

Poisoning

  • Household cleaners and chemicals – items such as bathroom cleaner, bleach, paint, and auto coolant can quickly and easily be opened and ingested by curious children. Remove temptation by keeping them locked up in a secure place.
  • Improperly stored medicine – as with chemicals and cleaners, keep all medicines away from curious hands by storing them in an appropriate location (such as a medicine safe, or in a locked cabinet).

Drowning

Swimming pools, kiddie pools, and even bathtubs can be the cause of serious accidents in the home, especially if you have children. Keep pools secure by installing appropriate fencing and gates, empty kiddie pools when not in use, and never allow children to play unattended in the bathtub.

Fires and burns

  • Hot water heater – whether accidental or on purpose, many people set their hot water heater far too high, often resulting in unintentional burns. To avoid scalding, set your heater at or below 120°F.
  • Stove and oven – to help avoid accidents involving a hot stove or oven, try to use the back burners whenever possible, and turn all pot and pan handles so they’re facing in.
  • Fireplace – a fireplace can be the cause of a devastating house fire. To avoid such accidents, keep anything that can burn at least three feet from the fireplace, and make sure to clean the chimney and flue regularly.

One of the best things you can do to help prevent accidents and injuries in the home is to come up with a safety plan. Include items such as those listed above and discuss your safety plan with everyone in the household. Adults and children alike should be aware of proposed safety measures and actively work to implement them. The best prevention is to review your safety plan frequently and adjust it as necessary.

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