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Sunday, August 21, 2011

National Safe at Home Week

August 22-26 is National Safe at Home Week. More accidents happen in the home than at work. There are things you can do to make your home a safer place. Take some time to walk through your home to look for potential hazards.

If you have a child, it is important to make your home safer for them. The number one cause of accidental death among children is poisoning, so make sure you lock up any medicines you have, as well as cleaners and anything else that contain poisonous chemicals.

Other things to do to protect children:

- Install outlet covers on unused outlets

- install some kind of locking system on cabinets that contain dangerous items

- keep all breakable objects out of reach

- block off stairways to protect from accidental falls down stairs

For adults, the number one cause of fatalities is slips and falls. Here are some things to do to reduce the risk of falls:

- Install lights, as well as switches, at the top and bottom of stairs

- place night lights in dark areas of the house

- keep halls and stairways free of clutter

- clean up any spills right away

- make sure all stairs have handrails—inside and outside

- during winter, clear out all snow and ice from walking surfaces as soon as possible

Other things to do to protect your home:

- Install outside lighting to prevent anyone from hiding in the dark outside your home

- check the batteries in your smoke detectors regularly

- Have a fire safety plan that includes escape routes in case of a fire and a place to meet outside the house

- do not overload extension cords. If you use an extension cord, make sure it is rated to handle the voltage/amps of the item you are plugging in.

- keep a fire extinguisher in your kitchen and on each floor of your house

Links to other resources:

Household Safety Checklists (Nemours Foundation)

Gardening Health and Safety Tips(Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)

Protecting Your Family from Fire (FEMA)

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