One way to live a long, healthy life and to help your loved ones do the same is to prevent accidents and injuries in the home. Some of the most common and dangerous accidents that can happen involve the “Big 4” of home safety. Here are ways to protect yourself and your family.
1. Fire — Don’t overload circuits. Don’t smoke in bed. Keep matches and lighters away from children. Keep a fire extinguisher near the kitchen. Make sure you have properly working smoke detectors on every level of your home. Have an emergency escape plan and practice it periodically to make certain each family member knows how to get out in case of a fire.
2. Firearms — If you choose to keep guns in your home, keep them locked away at all times. Store guns and ammunition in separate places. Never allow children access to your guns. Never underestimate a child’s ability to find a hidden gun.
3. Accidental Poisonings — Keep poisonous materials away from food storage areas and children. Store dangerous cleaning agents and solvents on high shelves or in safety-lock cabinets. Know how to reach your local poison control center and call them immediately if you suspect someone has ingested a dangerous substance. They can give you instructions for treatment over the phone.
4. Falls — Keep doorways and stairs free of clutter. Make sure rugs are taped down or have non-skid pads underneath. In homes with elderly residents, remove small rugs. Keep night-lights on in halls and bathrooms.
Home safety doesn’t require a monumental amount of time, energy or money. If each family member takes a moment to make certain they’re looking out for the safety of everyone in their household, then most of these dangers can be eliminated.