Check it out, Check it off.
A safe home is in your hands.
An informative article by the editors of the Home Safety Council, adapted by Hearth and Home.
There are simple steps you can take to help keep your loved ones safe in and around the home. The Home Safety Council offers the following home safety checklist as a guide to reduce the risk of unintentional injuries. This checklist is not all-inclusive. It addresses the leading causes of unintentional home injury-related deaths:slips/falls, poisoning and fire/burns. Customize your safety measures to meet any special needs and inspect your home regularly.
Fires & Burns
Smoke Alarms. The majority of home fire deaths happen at night, most often from smoke and poisonous gases, not the fire itself. Install smoke alarms on every level of your home, including the basement and workshop, and outside all sleeping areas. For extra protection, consider installing a smoke alarm in every bedroom. Be sure to test batteries at least once a month and never remove the batteries from your smoke alarm except to replace them.
Home Escape Plan. Make your plan now, before you need it. Have at least two exits from every room and a meeting place outside the home. Conduct a home fire drill with everyone in your household at least twice a year. Most people underestimate how fast a fire spreads. You may have as little as two minutes to get your family to safety. Plan and practice exactly what to do in advance.
List of Emergency Phone Numbers. Post a list of emergency phone numbers including the police, fire, doctors and poison prevention centers at every telephone in the home. In the event of a fire, call the fire department from outside the burning building.
Fire Extinguishers. A multipurpose dry chemical Class ABC fire extinguisher is the best choice for general home use. Mount the extinguisher on a bracket on the wall near an exit so that anyone using it can escape from the room if a fire spreads. Periodically check the gauge to make sure it has pressure. All adult occupants of the home must know when and how to use the extinguisher properly.
Slips & Falls
Sufficient Lighting. Use night-lights near bathrooms, bedrooms and stairwells. Make sure stairwells and hallways are always well lit â€“ especially at night. Provide sufficient lighting to all walkways and entrances to your home.
Grab Bars. Install grab bars in all bathrooms and shower stalls. Firmly anchor them into the wall studs with long screws or follow installation instructions on packaging.
Slip-Resistant. Use a non-slip mat, or install strips or decals in bathtubs and showers to help prevent slipping.
Poison Centers. Every Poison Control Center in the country can be reached by calling the AAPCC* nationwide hotline, 1-800-222-1222. Post this number, along with your other emergency numbers, by every phone on your home. If you think someone is poisoned, call the poison center immediately. Experts will answer your call, 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
Medicines and Household Cleaners. Make sure all medications, caustic cleaning products (example: drain openers, toilet and oven cleaners, rust removers, etc.), automotive fluids (example: windshield washing solution and antifreeze), pesticides, fertilizer and other household chemicals are in their original containers and in a locked cabinet. Buy medicines and household products in child-resistant packaging. Close caps tightly after using medicines and household products. Lock medicines and household products up high so children can’t see or reach them.
Carbon Monoxide Alarms. Carbon monoxide gas is poisonous, but you can’t see, smell or taste it. Check all fuel-burning appliances to be sure they work properly: furnace, hot water heater, stove, oven, fireplace, wood stove, and space heater. Put a carbon monoxide alarm near where people sleep. Be sure your alarm has the Underwriters Laboratories (UL 2034) label. *American Association of Poison Control Centers.
Families devote time and energy to create a healthy and happy home, but many Americans are unknowingly leaving their loved ones at risk to a common household danger; unintentional injuries. According to the Home Safety Council The State of Home Safety in America report, unintentional injuries at home prompted more than 20 million medical visits in a single year. Two more tips: Read warning label(s) and user manuals and file them where they can be found quickly.
For additional resources and material, visit the Home Safety Council in Washington, DC.
The Home Safety Council is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization dedicated to helping prevent more than 20 million medical visits each year from unintentional injuries in the home. Through national programs and partners across America, the Home Safety Council works to educate and empower families to take actions that help keep them safer in and around their homes.
A special thanks goes to: National Association of Pediatric Nurse Practitioners (NAPNAP) American Association of Poison Control Centers (AAPCC) for their technical review of this information.