Home safety depends on a combination of attitudes and actions.
It includes finding and fixing safety hazards, being safety-conscious at all times, and knowing what to do in an emergency. Knowing what to do can help keep your family safe. The risks are great, each year 21 million people are injured in home accidents and about 20,000 people are killed in home accidents. The costs are high also, medical expenses and lost wages add up to about $10 billion each year. Physical and emotional suffering costs a family plenty in pain, uncertainty and grief.
Basement Never replace a fuse with a penny or a higher amp. Gasoline, paints, solvents, or other such products should be stored in covered containers away from heater, furnaces, water heaters, ranges and other appliances. Spills should be cleaned up promptly. Old newspapers and cleaning cloths SHOULD NOT be stockpiled.
Bathroom Tubs and showers should have textured surface or non-skid mats or strips to avoid falls. Grab bars to assist transfers should be installed in tub, shower, and toilet areas as needed. Check water temperature with hand before entering tub or shower. Night-light should be used in bathroom.
Cupboards and Closets Cupboards should be organized so that frequently used items are on lower shelves. Sturdy step stool should be used to reach items on high shelves. Heavy items should be stored flatly on lower levels of closet to avoid falling injuries.
Electrical Safety (Infractions of these standards can cause fire) 1. Cords should not be placed beneath furniture and rugs. 2. Replace frayed cords. 3. Extension cords should not be overloaded. Check rating labeled on cord and appliances. 4. Multiple outlets adapters should not be used on electrical outlets. 5. Never turn on an appliance or plug one in while standing in water or when your hands are wet.
Fire Safety Fire regulations recommend one smoke detector on every level of the home. These should be checked every month to make sure they are working properly. Develop an evacuation plan to exit the residence in the event of a fire. Prioritize family members who are dependent, not ambulatory, or will require assistance. Establish clear pathways to all exits. DO NOT BLOCK EXITS with furniture or boxes. HAVE KEYS accessible near deadbolt locked doors.
DO NOT LEAVE COOKING UNATTENDED for extended periods of time. Keep the stove free of grease. Don’t wear loose –fitting sleeves when cooking. Never throw water on a grease fire. Turn pot handles away from the front of the stove. Chimneys should be inspected annually to avoid dangerous build up of creosote. Kerosene heaters, wood stoves, fireplaces SHOULD NOT be left unattended while in use. Matches, cigarettes and smoking materials must be disposed of safely every time. Carelessness with these is the single largest cause of fatal fires at home. Use large, deep ashtrays.
Outdoors Entrance should be clear of leaves, snow and ice.
Refrigerator Storage 1. Clean with adequate space for separation of medicines away from food. 2. Maintain cold temperatures.
Rugs, Runners, and Mats
Failure to comply with these standards can result in falls and injuries) 1. Loose rugs, runners and mats should be secured to the floor with double sided adhesive or rubber matting. 2. Carpet edges should be tacked down. 3. Torn, worn, frayed carpeting should be repaired, replaced, or removed.
Stairs, Hallways, and Passageways Stairs, hallways, and passageways between rooms should be well-lit and free of clutter. Stairs should have sturdy, well — secured handrails on both sides. Avoid using stairs while wearing only socks or smooth — soled shoes.
Supplies 1. Out of reach of irresponsible persons. 2. Store appropriately. 3. Storage areas clean and orderly. 4. Contaminated supplies kept away from clean storage. 5. Never use broken, damaged or unfamiliar items. (Save items for your nurse).
Telephone Locate at least one phone that is accessible in the event an accident renders a person unable to stand. Emergency numbers should be posted near the phone.
The previous pages in this section are provided as guidelines for you to follow to help prevent an accident from occurring. Below is a list of emergency first aid tips but they should not be considered a substitute for first aid training by professionals. ALWAYS Get medical help in an emergency.
MINOR BURNS Immerse the burn in cool water, cover it lightly with a clean cloth, and do not apply butter, ointments or other “home remedies.”
SHOCK Treat the cause of shock — stopped breathing, blood loss etc, keep the victim lying down — place unconscious victim on side to allow drainage of fluids, don’t move the victim if you suspect neck or spine injury — unless absolutely necessary, cover only enough to maintain body heat, get medical help immediately.
BLEEDING Cover the wound with a clean cloth and apply firm direct pressure, elevate the wounded limb above the heart if there is no fracture.
POISONING Offer milk or water to a conscious victim who has swallowed a chemical or household poison — DO NOT give anything if a drug or unknown poison was swallowed, Call the poison control center or a special emergency number such as “911” — DO NOT make the victim vomit unless you’re told to do so.
FALLS Don’t move the victim if you suspect neck or spine injury — unless absolutely necessary, stop bleeding and treat for shock — if necessary.
ELECTRIC SHOCK Do not touch the victim — shut off the power by unplugging the appliance or turning off the power, restore breathing — if necessary — and treat for shock.