June is National Home Safety Month. This is a great opportunity to talk about some of the most important safety concerns in your home and how you can sleep better at night knowing that your family is safe and sound while sleeping and awake. About 18,000 of us die in our homes each year and most of those deaths are preventable. When it comes to accidents in our homes, the top 5 causes of death are falls, poisoning, fire, suffocation/choking, and drowning. Taking steps to protect your family from these threats is one of the most important things you can do.
Make your house a safe haven by following these 7 ways of improving the safety of your home and safeguarding your ability to get a good night sleep.
1. Keep the Pathways Clear
Make sure there are no tripping hazards in any room or hallway in the house. If someone needs to get up in the middle of the night, they need to be able to walk without tripping over cords, shoes, or other items. Consider using small nightlights to light the way from bedrooms to bathrooms and along your family’s primary and secondary fire escape routes.
2. Avoid Slipping
Make sure all bathrooms and showers have non-slip strips to prevent slips and falls while bathing. Install non-slip strips or use non-skid paint, on stairs and floors where there is a falling danger. Secure throw rugs and area carpets with non-skid padding underneath.
3. Step Up Safely
Make sure you have a sturdy step stool in an easily accessible location so that people can use it to reach things that are too high. This prevents people from standing on less sturdy surfaces like chairs or beds. Follow all rules regarding the safe use of ladders. Use baby gates at the top and bottom of the stairs when small children are present, even if they know how to go up and down stairs.
4. Lock it Up
So many children each year die from accidental poisoning, that it should be keeping us all up at night. Make sure that all household chemicals and medications are locked up and out of reach of all children.
5. Detect Danger
Every home should have several smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors. Consult your local fire department to determine the appropriate number of each and the optimal location for placement within your home. These both help wake you up or alert you that there is a danger that you may not be able to see.
6. Supervise Flames
Never leave candles lit in an unattended room. You should also never leave pans cooking on the stove without someone there to watch over things. Don’t allow people to smoke in your home.
7. Be Prepared
There are a number of dangers spread throughout your home and one of the most important things you can do is make sure you are as prepared as possible for each of them. That means checking the batteries in the detectors, running family fire drills, and having an emergency plan.