“There’s no place like home,” but did you know that there are dangers lurking in your home? No, I’m not talking about dust mites;
I’m referring to things like fires and falls – incidents that can be avoided by following these simple tips.
I’ve Fallen and I Can’t Get Up
OK, so we all remember that commercial with the old lady but the truth is a lot people do fall in their own home, and not just the elderly.
Preventing a fall isn’t just important to you and your family, if someone else falls on your property they could turn around and sue you. Taking precautions before an accident occurs is the best solution.
Make sure there is appropriate lighting so all of the stairs can be seen when someone is going up and down the stairs.
You can do something fancy where each stair is illuminated, or you can put a bright lamp or chandelier in your house where your stairs are.
If you have outside stairs, consider using reflective tape on the edges in addition to outdoor lighting.
Also ensure your stairs have handrails.
Area rugs can beautify and add warmth to any home, but they won’t be of any use if they slide all over the place. Be sure to use adhesive or double sided tape so the rug is secure when walking on it.
Stop, Drop and Roll
No one expects their house to catch on fire yet we all have smoke detectors… just in case.
Those smoke detectors won’t do you any good if there are no batteries in them, so make sure you test the batteries once a month and replace them when they die.
Did you know that smoke detectors will not last the life of your home? According to the National Fire Protection Agency, smoke detectors should be replaced every 10 years.
Fire extinguishers are available at places like Costco, Home Depot and Lowe’s, and are well worth their small price.
It is suggested that you have one fire extinguisher per level in your home, but it is especially important to place a fire extinguisher in the kitchen, an area that has the most hazards.
Instructions are provided on the extinguisher itself so be sure to familiarize yourself and teach your family members how to use the fire extinguisher properly.
Do not leave a hot frying pan unattended, and make sure children know not to touch a hot stove.
Keep the heat levels on medium to low when frying oil so the oil does not splatter and scald you.
Open a window or turn on the stove fan when cooking at high temperatures.
Use blenders for safer cooking.
Scented candles are a great way to freshen up a room but keep in mind that candles should not be left unattended. It only takes a second for something to catch on fire.
Candles that are too close together can light one another, and any slight wind (even from someone walking by) can cause the flame to move.
Take the candle with you (carefully) if you plan on leaving the room, or blow the candle out and re-light it.
Keep flammable materials away from the flame (e.g. paper, plastic bags).
If your house does catch on fire it is important to have an escape route. Make sure the entire family practices a few times a year so they are prepared in the event this training exercise becomes a reality.
Look for more than one escape route out of each room (e.g. through the door or window).
If you have a multi-story home then consider purchasing an escape ladder which can be hung out of any window.
Decide on a meeting place for when you do all make it out of the house.
Don’t assume that staying on your front lawn will be the safest place; depending on the size of the fire it might be better to meet down the street by a lamp post or in front of a neighbor’s house.