6 Ways to Make Your Home a Safe Place to Live
Your family home should be a safe place. It should make you feel warm and secure, and like nothing bad can happen to you. You want your family to thrive and flourish and enjoy their lives in peace and happiness.
But your house may not be as safe as you think. Every year, more than 160,000 Americans die as a result of an accident, and unintentional household injury is responsible for more than 75% of these fatalities. There are so many potential sources of danger in the home, and most people don’t pay sufficient attention to them until it is too late. Yet almost all of these hazards are preventable, as long as you are aware of the risks and take steps to prevent injury from occurring.
There is no excuse for your home to be a dangerous environment for you and your family to live in. Outlined below are the most common hazards you will find in your home and the actions you will need to take to prevent them from causing injury or death.
Falls are the leading cause of household deaths in the US, making up a third of all accidents. This could be falling down the stairs, falling off a roof, or slipping on a wet floor and hitting your head. It is usually the elderly involved in such accidents, but it could happen to anyone. Although you won’t always be there to prevent a fall, luckily, there are several steps you can take to minimize the risk. If you have children in the home, staircases are a major danger, especially if they are prone to wandering about the house at night. Staircase safety gates can be purchased relatively cheaply, which forms a barrier at the top of the stairs, preventing any nasty nighttime falls. Stairwells can be made safer in general by ensuring the area is well-lit, and handrails and steps are solid and secure. Wet floors are another major slip hazard, so make sure kitchens and bathroom tiles are kept clean and dry and invest in rubber-bottomed bath mats to prevent slips.
You would be surprised by just how many poisonous substances are lurking around the home. So many household medications, cosmetics, and chemicals are highly toxic if ingested, and are often easy for young children to reach. Infants love putting strange new things in their mouths, so make sure any dangerous substances are stored in a high place well out of their reach. Ensure drugs and cleaning products are in child-proof vessels, and always be watchful of young children.
It’s not just household products that are risk factors for poisoning. Carbon monoxide is a major killer that strikes without warning. Carbon monoxide (CO) is a highly toxic gas that is devoid of taste or smell, so it is very hard to detect. It can seep from poorly maintained appliances, and you may not realize the danger until it is too late. You must have a carbon monoxide detector in your home to alert you if CO is present, and ensure all appliances are regularly checked and maintained to prevent leakage.
Blocked chimneys are another common cause of poisoning that many homeowners are unaware of. A poorly-maintained fireplace can cause a buildup of creosote, which is extremely harmful to your health in many ways. It releases foul odors that are toxic if ingested, and a blocked chimney can also lead to increased carbon monoxide levels. If you suspect yours needs maintenance, call in a chimney repair company to help you keep your home safe.
Over 3000 American lives are claimed each year from household fire hazards, and not only does it cause injury and death, but it will also destroy your family home and belongings. The most crucial step to prevent house fires is to have smoke detectors installed throughout the house and ensure they are regularly tested, and the batteries are replaced. This will alert you the instant there is a fire risk, and you may be able to stop it before it gets out of control. Also, you will need to develop good habits to minimize fire risk. When cooking, never leave pots and pans unattended, and always remember to turn off the gas when done. Keep all matches and lighters away from children, and never smoke in the house or leave candles burning overnight.
If drowning occurs in the home, it is almost certainly going to be a child between the ages of one and four. Children can drown in just two inches of water, which is more of a risk than you might think. Never leave a child in a bath unattended, and keep toilet lids closed at all times. If your home has a swimming pool, it should always be covered up when not in use. Garden ponds should be in a fenced area, and children should not be allowed to roam freely outdoors.
As we have already seen, children have a worrying tendency to put small objects in their mouths, and this puts them at high risk of choking. Most toys will have age guidelines for usage, and those designed for very young infants usually don’t come with small parts. Make sure your child plays with toys that are age-appropriate and don’t pose a choking hazard. Always supervise your child when playing and make sure you don’t leave small objects like keys and coins lying around. If your child does start choking, you should know how to perform first-aid on a choking child.
All homes have knives and tools that are extremely useful around the house, but lethal in the hands of a small child. Keep blades in a locked drawer, ideally with a plastic shield to prevent accidental cutting. It’s not just children who are at risk, as accidents can easily happen while cooking. Make sure you are aware of proper cutting and slicing techniques. All household tools like saws, lawnmowers, and shearers should be locked in a shed or garage when not in use.
There is a lot to be wary of when it comes to your home, but almost all household accidents can be prevented with care. By keeping an eye on any vulnerable members of your household and following this advice, you can make your home as safe as you want it to be.