Every home should be a safe place for families to grow and thrive together. In addition to taking steps to ensure that our homes are free of judgment and frequent arguments, it is also important that we do all we can to eliminate the threat of physical danger as well. Every home has a number of safety hazards that could potentially cause some serious damage if steps are not taken to prevent them. When we are at home enjoying time with our family, somebody accidentally getting hurt is usually the last thing on our minds. But statistics have shown that accidents do happen—usually when we least expect them.
Unfortunately, accidents in the home are responsible for causing more than 18,000 lives each year in the United States alone. They also account for more than 21 million medical visits each year, which amounts to around $200 billion dollars annually. Perhaps the worst thing about all of these accidents is that they are preventable with some planning and preparation. Here is a guide to make you aware of common home safety hazards and what you can do to prevent them.
Just over 3,000 Americans are killed each year due to house fires, making it the third most dangerous safety threat as far as home accidents are concerned. In addition to being physically dangerous, they also do a lot of damage to the home and valuable possessions within it. Here’s how you can avoid fires in your home.
- Install smoke detectors in each bedroom, the kitchen, living room, and any other large room.
- Test your smoke detectors each month and replace their batteries every six months.
- Keep a fire extinguisher in your home and make sure it is easily accessible.
- Have a fire safety plan that everybody in your home knows and understands.
Falling is the most dangerous household accident, claiming over one-third of all home fatalities. Elderly people are most likely to fall and be seriously injured afterward. However, falls can happen to anybody, so it will be well worth it to take some simple steps to reduce the risk.
- Install safety gates at the bottom and top of staircases to prevent anybody (especially small children) from accidentally falling down them.
- Place rubber mats in all showers and bathrooms.
- Wipe up any spills or wet floors immediately.
- Make sure all stairs both inside and outside the house are stable and in good condition.
Consuming poisonous materials claims the lives of over 5,000 Americans annually. Young children are most likely to succumb to this kind of accident. Here’s what you can do to lower the chances of your children being poisoned.
- Keep all cleaning products that contain dangerous chemicals in high places, out of children’s reach.
- Store paints, pesticides, and other dangerous chemicals behind locked doors or cabinets.
- Never leave your children unattended in the kitchen, garage, or anywhere else where they might be exposed to dangerous chemicals.
- Keep the number for poison control readily available in your phone or posted somewhere in your house.
Perhaps one of the scariest household threats is carbon monoxide. It is impossible to rely on our senses to detect dangerous levels of carbon monoxide, which is part of the reason why it takes so many lives every year. The most important step you can take to reduce the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning is to install carbon monoxide detectors in your home and test them regularly.
Around 800 Americans die from drowning in their homes each year—most of them are children ages one to four. It does not take much water to drown a small child (two inches is plenty), so it is essential that you take steps to minimize the risk. Here’s how.
- Never leave children unattended in a bath tub, no matter how much water is inside of it.
- Keep all toilet lids and bathroom doors closed when they are not in use.
- All swimming pools, ponds, and other outdoor bodies of water should be protected by a gate that is only accessible intentionally.
Following these simple steps will help you greatly reduce the risk of accidents happening in your home. All of these things can be done in one week and will help to keep your home a safe place for you and your loved ones for years to come.