The home is a sanctuary, somewhere a person can feel safe from the vagaries of the outside world. However, it may surprise you to discover that the majority of accidents happen inside the home. Furthermore, most of these accidents are of the preventable variety, giving credence to the notion that the comforts of home can sometimes make us neglect even the most rudimentary precautions. This is why it is important to keep a checklist of potential dangers and preach the importance of safety to your children. Here are 5 practical tips for promoting safety in the home:
1. Bathroom Safety
Bathroom accidents generally happen when trying to navigate the area at night. Install a night light that plugs into a nearby outlet. If the switch is not placed conveniently near the door, consider replacing the existing light switch with a glow in the dark switch to mitigate the chance of collisions or falls. Teach children the importance of keeping any electrical appliances away from water. If electrical safety is a major concern, install a ground fault circuit interrupter that cuts off electricity when it detects an electrical fault. For slippery tiles or bathroom surfaces, try applying textured strips or covering the floor with non-skid mats. Grab bars are helpful for elderly individuals and children alike.
2. Bedroom Safety
Organize your bedroom so that switches, alarm clocks and phones are within reach. If you utilize electrical blankets, do not place any items on top while in use, or set the device too high as it can result in burns while sleeping. Do not smoke in bad. Cigarettes are a major cause of accidental house fires.
3. Kitchen Safety
Never leave burnable items such as pot holders, plastics, and towels near the stove. Set designated locations for these items and immediately return them after use. Roll up long sleeves and any make sure to pin back any loose items, as these can catch fire when dangled carelessly. Long sleeves can also catch on pot handles, flipping over pots and resulting in severe burns. While it may seem obvious to keep knives and cutlery out of reach of children, be sure to keep any cleaning products or toxic items out of reach as well. Stowing them under the sink may seem ideal but in reality makes them accessible to small children.
4. Yard Safety
Your yard enclosure should be secure and all entryways and exits should be inaccessible to children. If you utilize pesticides when gardening, keep them locked away in a cabinet or shed. Before applying any sort of pesticide, clear the area of any toys or sports equipment. Do not use paint strippers nearly flammable sources, like an outdoor barbeque pit or fireplace. Children often leave athletic gear and outdoor toys strewn over the yard, and this can create additional points of exposure. If you own a pool, remember to keep your children supervised at all times and never take your eye off them, as a single second can be the difference in preventing an accident. Always keep rescue items near the pool.
5. Other General Tips
While you want to make your home cosmetically appealing, try to keep safety in mind as well. Keep wires and cords away from high traffic areas where someone can trip and fall, but not under rugs or carpeting as they can create an uneven surface as well as be a fire hazard. Purchase matting for your rugs to ensure they don’t slip. Make sure that you have a smoke detector in every room to alert you of fires. If you have to purchase an additional detector, make sure it complies with local regulations. If you purchase a home with a chimney, have a fire official make an inspection to ensure it is up to code.